OCR A2 Biology F215 Behaviour revision notes

Notes covering the behaviour section of Responding to the Environment topic for OCR A2 Biology F215. The blue font indicates stretch and challenge

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  • Created on: 06-06-12 09:47
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2.4.11 Innate behaviour
Behaviour =described as the responses of an organism to its environment which increases
its chances of survival. Organisms must be able to detect changes in its environment-stimuli,
and carry out an appropriate response through the operation of effectors. A stimulus can
lead to a reflex response, this = simple form of genetically determined behaviour.
More complicated behaviours in animals = result of a combination of genetically determined
(fixed) and learned (adapted) responses to stimuli.
Innate behaviour= any animal response that occurs without the need for learning. It is an
inherited response, similar in all members of the same species and is always performed in
the same way in response to the same stimulus.
Examples of innate behaviour:
Reflexes-many invertebrates have an escape reflex, function of which=to avoid predators.
Earthworms withdraw underground in response to vibrations on the ground, escape
reflexes, and are involuntary responses which follow a specific pattern in response to a given
Kineses-an orientation behaviour where the rate of movement increases when the organism
is in unfavourable conditions. The behaviour is `non-directional', meaning that the response is
to change the rate of movement overall in relation to the intensity of the stimulation, not in
any particular direction. Woodlice avoid predation and drying out by living in damp, dark areas,
if placed in dry/bright conditions woodlice will move around rapidly and randomly until they
are in more suitable conditions-then they stop moving or move slowly. This = physiological
response-don't actively seek damp dark areas.
Taxes-`directional' orientation response. The direction of movement is described in relation
to the stimulus which triggers the behaviour response-positive phototaxis is towards and
negative is away from light stimulus. Positive chemotaxis is towards and negative is away
from a specific chemical. An example of this is nematode worm-chemoreceptors in its lips
sense chemical signals in the air, and he animal can be observed to move its head from side
to side in order to compare signal strengths and detect the direction of a chemical gradient
before moving its whole body up or down the gradient.
2.4.12 Learned behaviour
Learned behaviour=animal responses that change/adapt with experience. There is a range of
learned behaviours eg. Learning not to respond to a repeated stimulation.

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Learned behaviour is described as that which shows adaptation in response to experience.…read more

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In natural conditions-would be known as
trial and error learning.
Latent (exploratory learning)-animals will explore new surroundings and retain info about
their surroundings that is not of immediate use but may be essential to staying alive at
some future time. Young rabbits explore the surroundings of their burrows, learning features
of the environment-can be life saving if helps the rabbit escape a predator in later life.
Insight learning- insight learning=regarded as the highest form of learning.…read more

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Social organisation-mountain gorillas live in stable groups (called a troop) of around 10
individuals. This usually consists of one mature dominant male (silverback), a number of adult
females and their offspring. The dominant male protects the other members of the group,
leads them in search of food and is the only male that mates with the mature females. As
younger males reach sexual maturity, they leave the group to live alone until they are mature
enough to attract females.…read more

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The infants of most primates spend the early part of their lives in constant contact with the
mother. This enhances the speed of learning from the mother and aids the social
development of the infant through the ability to learn social structures and activities in
safety. This is often referred to as `carry behaviour'.…read more

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Primate gestation periods usually = fairly short in comparison to life span, this is because:
Primate birth canals=not large enough to allow birth of a fully developed infant.
Relatively short gestation means a fairly small skull-means can pass down birth canal
Once infant is born-relatively long period of development. During this period there =
time for development of the brain and so development of all the learned behaviours
of an organism of that species.…read more


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