Animal Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Mechanisms, by Mark Ridley

By Mark Ridley

This vintage textbook is a concise introductory consultant to the topic of animal habit. The booklet is geared up by means of first construction the four-cornered foundations of the topic, then relocating larger. In a very well-organized development, the coed is bring about an realizing of the basic themes, defined in logical self-contained devices. each one bankruptcy ends with feedback for extra studying. during this moment variation, the insurance of mechanisms of habit is way improved, as is the cloth on evolution and normal choice. The bankruptcy on improvement comprises a lot of the hot paintings on studying and reminiscence, in particular song-learning in birds. certainly during the publication, examples are drawn from contemporary ground-breaking examine.

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Extra resources for Animal Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Mechanisms, Development, and Ecology

Example text

5 the vertical lines represent the 20 species, which have been arranged according to shared behavior patterns (indicated by the horizontal lines). 5 that, for instance, the pintail and the mallard share a more recent common ancestor than either share with the shelduck. The grouping of the species according to their behavior is similar to, but not exactly identical with, the groupings that have been suggested by other biologists who use evidence from anatomical similarity; it is possible to investigate why the different kinds of evidence suggest slightly different phylogenetic groupings.

The song is not a response to an environmental stimulus (though singing is influenced by many environmental variables, such as temperature). The control of the song is by an internal rhythmic mechanism. The internal rhythm is probably generated in the thoracic ganglion, because when the command interneuron in the neck is electrically stimulated and causes the cricket to sing, the stimulus contains no timing information. The song consists of a regular series of sound pulses, delivered at a certain frequency in time; the stimulus from the interneuron in the neck probably serves to set the whole rhythmic machinery in motion but does not itself directly control the contraction of the wing muscles.

Bats make sounds mainly of 20,000 Hz and higher-some emit sounds of up to 100,000 Hz-and most bat sounds are therefore inaudible to humans. One advantage to the bat of using such high-pitched sounds is that it is relatively undisturbed by background noise (most noises in nature have a frequency lower than 20,000 Hz). By concentrating on high-frequency sounds, bats live in a world silent except for their own noises and echoes. It is essential to the bat that there should be no interfering background noise.

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