Animal Behavior

Biology lb


Animal behavior is predictable. Their behavioral tendencies are influenced by the relationship of its

anatomy to their environment. By observing various forms of life, and associating the mechanism of their

abilities to perform a behavioral action, evolutionary influence thereafter, can be analyzed and deduced

from that point.


The science and study of animal behavior involve an enormous array of complicated factors. For

instance, stereotyped responses are unlearned behavioral reactions to some environmental stimulus

predicated upon an organism relationship to its physical environment and anatomy. This obviously begs

the question; is the observable behavior such as, the vertical movements demonstrated by brine shrimp

(marine plankton experiment) or peristaltic movements showed by earthworms (animal behavioral lab

experiment) a form of deliberate taxis or random kinesis? However, to properly be able to address those

questions, it's far more important to examine the intricate factors involving the complex interactions

between the effects of environmental stimuli,(dry air for the earthworm and directional light for the brine

shrimp) towards the affected anatomical structure and physiological function of a specific organ system of

those particular animal species. Therefore, I hypothesize, that an !

earthworm will exert random kinetic behavior through peristaltic movement in an arid clinical environment

because, it's sensory apparatus (respiratory system) will detect a potential life/death situation precipitated

by the threat of desiccation; whereas, the brine shrimp will demonstrate deliberate vertical movements of

behavioral taxis because, the environmental stimuli of light will be effecting an entirely different sensory

apparatus (ocular nervous ) ofwhich, doesn't afford the potential possibility of impending doom. By that,

affording the luxury of stereotypical behavior that can be later linked to environmental fitness. In short, an

animal's behavior about a particular type of movement is predicated upon the environmental clues, which

directly influence the innate survival mechanisms of a species or its anatomical configuration with

evolutionary fitness.

However, inasmuch as some forms of animal behavior can be easily be analyzed by a simple stimulus and

response scenario, such as with earthworms and brine shrimp. Others such as the rheotactic behavior of

trout (aquarium field trip) and penguin mating habits (zoo field trip) are far more complicated. These

particular types of animal behavior involve a wider spectrum of coordinated organ systems. For instance,

trouts are migratory fish and posses the additional physical characteristics of using chemorecptors (smell)

too located their initial spawning grounds. Because of this evolutionary/genetic characteristic, they must

swim against currents to be able to maximize their olfactory senses. Although the sense of smell is apart of

the nervous system, the mechanism that coordinates rheotactic behavior is an entirely different nervous

component. Trout like other fish use their mechanoreceptors located in their lateral line system to detect

the movement and direction of water.!

Which solicits the question, if trouts are rheotactic, then why do they need to intermediately break from

the current and swim in a particular pattern? Therefore I hypothesize, which a trout's general rheotactic

behavior is predicating upon the coordinated environmental stimulus of an aqueous solute concentration,

ofwhich will confirm olfactory distance, and the lateral line thereafter functions to facilitate in the correct

direction. Consequentially, rheotactic behavior controlled by the lateral line is dependent upon the

chemoreptors of the olfactory senses of a trout. Thus, a trout's intermittent behavior during rheotactic

movement is more or less a pause for the benefit of olfactory orientation.

Penguins unlike trout, brine shrimp and earthworms are flightless birds. Because of their physical size,

they inherently have a larger cerebral capacity. This anatomical characteristic complicates the qualitative

analysis of penguin mating behavior tremendously. Largely because, penguins have the physical capacity

of conscious thought, interactive communication immersed in a sheath of innate unlearned behavior.

However, penguins are similar to trout in that, they to are migratory creatures. Thus, penguins like trout

integrate a number of different physiological systems for mating behavior. One of which involves the

coordinated interaction between their endocrine system and nervous system. Therefore I hypothesize, that

male penguins during the mating season are territorially aggressive due to the imbalance of testosterone

within their system, and female penguins are passive and somewhat behaviorally more submissive due to

the higher amounts of estrogen within their sys!

tems. Furthermore, because the endocrine system is such an incredible catalyst for a volatile explosion of