Animal Behaviour



Pheromone trails in rats, ant

Death reckoning/path integration in desert ant
  Memory of starting position
  Ability to sense self-motion and convert it into distance
  Ability to use the distance to update spatial information
  A way to correct errors and keep the process current
Pedometer hypothesis

Piloting with landmarks in bees, ants
  Use landmarks as a rough compass

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Cognitive map

Tolman experiments with rats in mazes and detours

   Lightbulb was thought to help guide them

Morris experiments with rats in water

O'Keefe experiments with rats and electrodes

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Grid cells = bundle of cells that represent distances (entorhinal cortex)

Place cells = fire in the Hippocampus when in certain places

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Primary compass = following the sun

Magnetic compass = earth magnetic field
   Caribbean spiny lobster
   Sea turtles - imprint on magnetic signature of natal beach
 Cryptochrome - affects light sensitivity of retinal neurons once activated

Star navigation
   Dung beetle

   Use dynamic model to navigate straight lines e.g. sun and wind
   Dung beetle

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Collective movement


The larger the group, the smaller the proportion of informed individuals needed to guide the group
   Smaller group leads to greater accuracy
 Robofish and storks
     Storks show that followers leave thermals earlier and at a lower height, thus cannot travel as far

   Shared decision-making
   More likely to follow if there are multiple initiators
   Often follow a compromise if angle between 2 groups is less than 90 degrees

Active communication = voting
Vocalisations in baboons - hierarchy doesn't count
Sneezes in hyenas - majority can overrule dominance preference

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