Animal Behavior Ap Bio

Ciara Fennelly
Period 3
Animal Behavior

The study of animal behavior is undoubtedly one of the oldest branches of biology. Many scientists have studied animal behavior over time such as Niko Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch. When you study the normal patterns of animal behavior abnormalities can suggest imbalances in the ecosystems. By learning the habits of the animals around them, early humans increased their chances of securing a meal and decreased their chances of becoming a meal. Animals have all different types of behaviors; releasers, imprinting and different types of communication. It is safe to say animals are very smart!
The research field known as ethology is where the modern behavioral biology gained its roots. Ethology, which originated in the 1930s with naturalists who wanted to understand how different types of animals behave in their natural habitats. How many animals can carry out many behaviors without ever having seen them preformed was one of the major subjects of early ethological research.   The most successful naturalists, who shared a Nobel Prize in 1973 for their discoveries were; Niko Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz and Karl van Frisch.
Between 1930 and 1950, the Austrian naturalist Konrad Lorenz and the Dutch ethologist Niko Tinbergen found that certain animals show fixed-action patterns of behavior, which are strong responses to specific stimuli. For example, male stickleback fish attack other breeding males that enter their territory. The defending male recognizes intruders by a red stripe on their underside. Tinbergen found that the male sticklebacks he was studying were so aware of the red stripe that they would try to attack passing red British mail trucks visible through the glass of their tanks! Tinbergen termed the red stripe a behavioral releaser, a simple stimulus that brings about a fixed action pattern.
A fixed-action pattern is a series of behaviors that is essentially unchangeable and usually carried...