B3 Topic 2- Behaviour in Humans and other animals

For Edexcel 360science extension

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Instinctive behaviour

Instinctive Behaviour is when something or someone has behaviour which is automatic to a stimulus. For example when a person steps on a pin he quickly moves his foot away from it. Instinctive behaviour is inherited because they are passed down from our parents. When a Herring gull chick is born it begins to peck on its parents beak which is red, because it is hungry and wants food. The parent then brings the food. This is instinctive behaviour. New born Herring were shown wooden models with different colours such as red, yellow and others, the result was that the red model was pecked more.

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Learned behaviour conditioning

  • Classical conditioning is when an animal learns without actually trying to, to associate a neutral stimulus with an important one, e.g. A dog associates a bell ringing with the arrival of food. The response is automatic and reinforced by repetition.
  • Operant conditioning is also known as trial and error learning and is where an animal learns actively to associate an action with a reward and punishment, i.e. The animal tries to work out what’s going on. E.g. Skinner trained rats and pigeons to obtain a food reward using a small cage, a Skinner box, that he invented. The animal was rewarded with food when it pressed a certain button and using a system of trial and error learned which button to press to get the reward.
  • Both classical and operant conditioning are used to train animals. Usually operant conditioning is used to train animals, i.e. Giving rewards when an animal does what you want, e.g. Training police sniffer dogs to retrieve drugs. Classical conditioning can also be used, i.e. When the reward can’t be given at the exact moment when the animal does the action, e.g. A whistle when a dolphin jumps, telling the dolphin it will get the reward.
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Imprinting and habituation

  • }Imprinting - a learning process in early life whereby species specific patterns of behaviour are established }Young rely on parents for food and protection
  • Advantages of imprinting improved chance of survival
  • }Habituation- giving an animal a stimulus that isn't beneficial or harmful to it. The animal will learn not to respond to it.
  • }Pigeons- becoming allot braver
  • }Crows – ignore scarecrows
  • }Experiences in early life can massively affect behaviour later on
  • }Pigs removed from there mother- more aggressive as adults
  • }Some birds will never learn the full bird song of there species if kept in isolation
  • }Babies who's parents argue a lot a more likely to suffer form attacks of rage as they get older.
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How do animals communicate

  • In a honey bee a colony of up to 80,000 bees live there. It influences the action of other individuals.
  • Workers are female bees, sterile
  • Drones are males, for mating only
  • Queen is female who was fed royal jelly in larval stage, only one per hive, will be the fertile female
  • nScouts Signal to others that food is nearby and relative location
  • nRound Dance: Simply signals to others that food is nearby (no direction or distance)-used for short distances from the hive and excites the bees to fly in all directions (approx. 50 m)
  • nWaggle Dance: Used for longer distances and performs a figure eight path. This path communicates both the distance and direction using the sun, the hive, and the food source as reference points.
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  • Pheromones are chemicals emitted by living organisms to send messages to individuals of the same species.
  • Behavior reactions in colonies
  • nRecognition of queen and reduction of egg laying by workers.
  • nPrevents the eggs from developing into rival queens
  • nMating attractant during mating flight
  • nScent gland holds swarming bees together
  • What are the advantages of using pheromones for communications?

    • Advantages
    • nchemicals do not depend on lighting conditions (as visual signals do),
    • nthey may be sensed over great distances and around corners,
    • nand they last longer (e.g. a scent trail can last for days).
    • Disadvantages
    • nthey only spread downwind,
    • nthe information content is lower than with sound or visual,
    • nchemicals in scent trails can be washed away by rain.
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Courting Behaviour

  • Courting= behaviour which includes the attraction and selection of a mate
  • Courting behaviour is when an animal attracts a mate.
  • Courtship behaviour in peacocks enables peahens (female peacocks) to respond/attracted to the male’s tail. Males attract females by calling and vibrating their colourful tails. The female looks at the number of eye-spots, brilliance of feathers and chooses her mate.
  • Animals use the following ways to find their mates: Display Scent / Pheromones Sounds and songs Dance Nest building
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  • What are the advantages of being in a herd?
  • nThe disadvantages of foraging in a group are outweighed by shared responsibility for vigilance.
  • nThe evolution of sociality in animals is that individuals in groups can decrease the amount of time spent on vigilance decreasing the risk of death through predation.
  • nThe group increasing the probability of detecting approaching predators (the 'many eyes' hypothesis).
  • nThe herding instinct is passed on as more individuals survive to produce off springs nNatural selection reinforces the behaviour
  • nCarnivores eat a high-protein, high-energy diet and as such need to spend less time eating than herbivores. nHowever, most spend much more energy in catching their ‘prey’ compared to herbivores
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  • nCarnivores are adapted to detect, kill and eat prey as shown by the sharp teeth of the bear.
    nExamples of adaptations:
    A fox’s narrow eyes which are close together and face the front which means it has a narrow view but can accurately judge prey distance. The fox therefore has binocular vision and not monocular vision.
    nSome carnivores hunt in packs and others hunt as individuals. This all depends on the size of the prey.
    nAn example could be a moose and a wolf. A pack of wolves is required to kill the moose otherwise a single moose would probably fail because of size.
    nAlso by hunting together, this means there are fewer leftovers. Scavengers who feed on the leftovers of prey killed by predators will therefore have less. Packs of carnivores can chase off scavengers and therefore each pack member has more food to feed on rather than if alone.
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Non-verbal Communication

Pulling a face is one way of communicating our emotions to others.
Chimpanzees also pull faces. Their facial language is often similar to humans in appearance and meaning.
The front of a chimpanzee’s face is broader than a human face.
Some expressions have different meanings in humans and chimpanzees.
A full open grin is thought to show fear rather than happiness in Chimpanzees.
Body posture and movement tell a lot about how you are feeling and you intentions.
For example, if you sit towards someone you are probably interested in them and want to know more.
People often use their hands to communicate information.
For example, the good-bye wave, the victory clenched fist and the circle made with finger which means OK.
Gestures mean different things in different countries
Mammals, birds, reptiles and many other types of animal use facial expressions and body language to convey information.
When a cat runs to greet a friendly animal its tail will be held high.
The raised tail indicates happiness and a welcome.
A cat swishing its tail means trouble.

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  • Chimpanzees rely heavily on visual communication. They make a variety of facial expressions to let other members of their troop know how they are feeling. Body postures, hand gestures, and vocalizations are also important ways for chimpanzees to communicate.
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B3.2.13 Family Society

¡Farming takes up 19 million hectares of land in the UK;
¡Clearing tropical rainforest for cattle ranching quickly exhausts the nutrients in the soil. Semi-desert develops;
¡Housing and roads cover the landscape, destroying environments and wildlife;
¡Mining extracts coal and minerals from the land. Craters and heaps of waste material disfigure the landscape.
¡ 60000 years ago-Humans lived as hunter-gatherers
¡Family groups set up a camp for a few days while animals were hunted and wild food was gathered
¡Families moved from campsite to campsite (following animals and the seasonal rains)
¡10000 years ago: Hunter-gatherers communities settles in an area, harvesting wild wheat and other wild grasses
¡Families could store seed grains so they didn’t have to move from place to place searching for food.
¡They had a more settled way of life, enabling them to live in permanent communities

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2500 years ago

¡Farming was an established way of life
¡Useful animals and plants were selected an bred
¡Food was plentiful and not everyone was needed for farm work
¡Some people were able to specialise in weaving and pottery, others trained as priests, doctors and lawyers
¡Large towns and society emerged


¡People mostly live in big cities ¡Food is provided by few people, working in farming ¡Industry and technology offer improved living standards and increased leisure time ¡Mass transport allows people to travel around ¡Societies in different parts of the world are in touch daily through travel and the internet

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Humans and other apes

§Humans are one of the great apes (A member of the group which includes humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans), and have developed from small family groups of hunter- gatherers, closely related to bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees), to complex societies capable of gross modification of their own environment.
§Chimpanzees are our closest cousins. About 99% of our genetic material is the same.

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Using Animals

“Domestication is the process of bringing animals under human control and taming the animal to follow Human orders.” Throughout this presentation you will see how domestication varies from house pets to illegal treatment of animals and exploitation.
Some animals get used to being with people more easily than others. Human control of their breeding and living conditions eventually led to their domestications.
Horses were originally wild and domesticated for hunting, riding into war and attached to carts to drag along
Farm animals domesticated around 10,000 years ago, brought into human care for a dependable source of meat milk and fibres.

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Now animals are also used as pets, offering companionship and affection.
Dog’s – bred from wolves are used for companionship and for guarding and for hunting.
Cats – bred from big cats to kill mice and rats
Sheep - most likely descended from the wild Mouflon of Europe and Asia. One of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes, for fleece, meat and milk. The act of using something in an unjust or cruel manner”
Every week, in Britain alone, we slaughter 8 million chickens, 300 thousand pigs, 80 thousand cattle, 500 thousand turkeys, 50 thousand rabbits and 300 thousand sheep. Each year around 40 million chicks are gassed or crushed for being male and therefore unable to produce eggs. A similar number of female chicks are then sent for confinement in small wire cages to produce eggs as cheaply as possible.

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In Latin, Vivisection means alive cutting. This is one of the ways animals are badly treated for Human needs.
Every thirty seconds approximately 1000 animals are abused and killed in order for pharmaceutical companies.
Animals are useful for medicinal purposes because some animals produce anti-bodies for vaccines. Scientist are now researching ways to transplant animal organs into humans i.e pig organs into humans.
Animals like Horses, dogs and snails are used for racing and betting on. Bullfighting and ****-fighting are more violent sports were animals are mistreated. Some animals perform at circuses and zoos. Also, animals are hunted for FUN such as deer's, foxes, birds and wolves.

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1.Animals used for cosmetic and medical research suffer pain and discomfort
2.Hunting is considered cruel and unnecessary
3.Using animals for entertainment in circus is exploitation
4.Using animals to provide unnecessary luxuries e.g. Fur coats, ivory ornaments and certain cosmetics
5.Intensive farming is unnatural and discomforting for animals.

1.If drugs weren’t tested on Animals, then there's no way of knowing if there safe or not.
2.Some people say that hunting is the humane way to keep foxes under control so they don’t kill farm animals.
3.Circus owners say their animals are treated kindly and they enjoy performing
4.Zoos educate people and many have breeding progammes aimed to help endangered people.

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You are the best! :)


good research thanx.


Hi thanks alot for the resources but can you do the chemistry and biology as well? 





could you possibly do chemistry and physics too as previously suggested in these comments

Muddassir Ahmad

sam wrote:

could you possibly do chemistry and physics too as previously suggested in these comments

click on my name and you will find it


A detailed set of revision notes that obviously seem popular with other users of the site studying this specification ( Edexcel). There does seem to be some odd letters (n) that keep popping up on the cards for some reason but the information is still legible.

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