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

By Mark Ridley

This vintage textbook is a concise introductory advisor to the topic of animal habit. The e-book is equipped through first development the four-cornered foundations of the topic, then relocating larger. In a really well-organized development, the scholar is result in an figuring out of the fundamental issues, defined in logical self-contained devices. every one bankruptcy ends with feedback for additional analyzing. during this moment variation, the assurance of mechanisms of habit is way accelerated, as is the cloth on evolution and usual choice. The bankruptcy on improvement contains a lot of the recent paintings on studying and reminiscence, specially song-learning in birds. certainly in the course of the ebook, examples are drawn from fresh ground-breaking learn.

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

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The common ancestor of all three probably lacked those characteristics (such as having a backbone) shared by birds and amphibians, because the common ancestor of all living things lacked them. Thus, 23 24 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR if we put the birds and amphibians together in one group in the phylogeny and echinoderms in another, the characters like the backbone only need to have evolved once. If we had instead put the birds and echinoderms in one group and the amphibians in another, the backbone would have had to have evolved once in the amphibian lineage and another time in the bird lineage, making two evolutionary events.

The commonest electromagnetic sense is light vision. Light receptors, in the form of eyes, are found in more or less complex form in many kinds of animals. But eyes are not the only light-sensitive organs known in nature. Insects, for instance, have three light-sensitive ocelli on the top of their heads, behind their compound eyes. The functions of the ocelli are uncertain. Chemical sense organs are found in many places in different kinds of animals. 6), which is a favorite animal for work on the nervous system, can smell seaweed, on which it lives.

Interneurons carry out all the complex information processing activities of the nervous system, and the brain consists almost entirely of interneurons. Interneurons extract information from the raw sense data of the sensory neurons, integrate the information of different sensory and internal systems, and then (if appropriate) issue instructions to the third class of neurons, the neurons that most directly control behavior-the motor neurons. Motor neurons attach to muscles, and when enough of the motor neurons attached to anyone muscle become electrically active, the muscle contracts and some externally visible movement may result.

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