Animal Behavior

Innate Behavior (Inherited Behavior)

  • Chosen by Natural Selection
  • No complex brain is needed for innate behaviors
  • Hormonal Balance and Nervous System Affect Organism's Sensitivity to Stimuli
  • Complex Interactions Between Genes and the Environment


  • suckling of a newborn mammal
  • spider spinning a web


  • seasonal movement
  • movement of species from one environment to another in response to temperature, food


  • Movement in response to light
  • Isopods- negative phototaxis- move away from the light
  • Moths- positive phototaxis- move toward the light

Circadian Rhythm

  • 24 hour sleep-wake patterns
  • Nocturnal/Diurnal
  • Regulate when animals are hungry, excrete wastes


  • Period of inactivity to survive winter
  • body temp., oxygen consumption
  • breathing rates, energy usage decline
  • store foods as fat (insulation)


  • decreased metabolism of animals during periods of intense heat/drought
  • Example- frogs, other amphibians burying themselves in the mud to remain moist and cool

Learned Behavior

  • more complex organisms involved
  • must have a more complex brain and/or nervous sytem


  • organisms is repeatedly exposed to a stimulus without given a punishment or reward
  • organism becomes used to the stimulus and continues to seek out the stimulus
  • Example: biting nails, baby sleeping through loud noises, wild animals becoming accustomed to humans

Trial and Error

  • organisms receives a reward for a proper response
  • organism my have to perform task many times in order to receive the reward
  • random


  • organism forms an irreversible social attachment to another organism, usually at birth;
  • used to identify proper mates
  • described by Konrad Lorenz (goslings imprinting)

Classical Conditioning

  • Ivan Pavlov's dog experiment
  • learning is by association with a repeated stimulus
  • food=salivation; bell=food; bell=salivation

Social Behavior

  • organisms can create with pheromones
  • behavior is seen in a wide range of animals such as ants, bees, wasps, termites, lions, zebras, baboons
  • Examples: bees- waggle dance to describe food location for members of the hive; Altruistic behavior- animals sacrificing themselves for the benefit of the entire colony (ants)


  • members of one sex (usually males) advertise fitness as a mate
  • Examples: use of sounds (songs), displays, dances, chemicals (pheromones), and other ritualistic behaviors


  • prevents others from using limited resources (food, water, nesting spaces, shelter, potential mates)
  • leaving scents to mark territory
Created By
Allyson Hunter


Created with images by gailhampshire - "Eristalis nemorum." • USFWS Mountain Prairie - "Love is in the Air" • klynslis - "garden spider 1" • Patrick McConahay - "I thought this was one-way." • Frank Boston - "Roll E Pole E" • SHAWSHANK61 - "raccoon varmint mammal" • jitze - "Hunting for a salmon snack" • dennisflarsen - "samson dog newfoundland" • Gamma Man - "Drool" • AvinaCeleste - "peacock peafowl bird"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.