Determinants of Animal Behaviour

By Jo-Anne Cartwright | Go to book overview

1

Introduction
What is non-human animal behaviour?
Why study animal behaviour?
How do we study animal behaviour?
Summary

What is non-human animal behaviour?

Simply defined, non-human animal behaviour is anything an animal does—its feeding habits, its reproductive conduct, the way it rears its young, and a host of other activities. Behaviour is the whole animal’s adjustment to changes inside its body or in its environment and is always an organised action.

The group activities of non-human animals (hereafter referred to as animals) are an important aspect of animal behaviour. For example, bees communicate with each other about sources of food, and birds may flock during migratory flights. Group activities are often adaptations to a new set of circumstances; without adaptation (any structural or behavioural change that increases the probability that an animal will survive) a species could not survive in their ever-changing environment.

Behaviour can also be thought of as a response to a stimulus (something which stimulates the senses), whether it involves a change in the body or a change in the environment. All animals, even those too small to be seen without a microscope, respond to stimuli.

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Determinants of Animal Behaviour
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Evolutionary Explanations of Animal Behaviour 11
  • Further Reading 44
  • 3 - Classical and Operant Conditioning 45
  • 4 - Social Learning in Animals 83
  • Further Reading 117
  • 5 - Study Skills 119
  • Glossary 135
  • Bibliography 141
  • Index 147
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