Animal Behavior

Sp2001                                                     1st Exam                           Name___________________

Multiple choice:


____1. The statement "Starlings decorate their nests with sprigs of carrot leaves in order to interfere with the development of nest mites"  is:  A) a hypothesis   B) a prediction   C) a test of a hypothesis

D) a proximate conclusion


____2. The statement that lemmings disperse at high population densities in order to reduce their population and bring it into line with available resources:  A) has been proven to be true   B) is consistent with Darwinian evolutionary theory  C) is based on the theory of evolution by group selection   D) is supported by the finding that all animals disperse at some time during their lives


____3. A Darwinian behavioral biologist would be most surprised and puzzled by which one of the following observations?  A) A parent spider that consumes her entire clutch of eggs   B) A moth that beautifully mimics the appearance of a leaf  C) A raven that is able to find food extremely efficiently

D) A frog that is able to lay her eggs on leaves above the water  E) A toad that eats the offspring of her



____4. Which of the following are proximate hypotheses about the acquisition of territorial song by male White-crowned Sparrows?   The behavior is (1) innate  (2) learned   (3) adaptive  (4) dependent on sensitive or critical period for certain inputs  (5) developmentally influenced by way of a neural template

A) 1       B) 1, 2 and 3        C) 1, 2 and 4        D) 4 and 5            E) 1, 2, 4, and 5


____5. Which of the following arguments are valid with respect to why the singing behavior of White-crowned Sparrows is not "environmentally determined"?

A)    Singing behavior cannot be "environmentally determined" because the proximate mechanisms underlying song acquisition require genetic information for their development

B)     White-crowned Sparrows sing genetically determined dialects

C)     There are no differences among male sparrows in their singing behavior

D)    Although environmental influences are important in the development of the trait, genetic effects are more important.


____6. Which of the following is an ultimate hypothesis for why members of the inland population of garter snakes refuse to each slugs?  A) Inland snakes refuse to eat slugs because they smell like leeches

B) Eating things that smell like slugs is harmful to inland garter snakes because leaches smell like slugs

C) Inland garter snakes lack the olfactory receptors that would enable them to detect and recognize slugs as prey     D) Inland garter snakes possess enzymes different from those of slug-accepting garter snakes

E)     Inland garter snakes think that slugs are gross and slimy


____7. The claim has been made that, in some populations of humans, about 70 percent of the variation with respect to personality measurements stems from genetic variation.  This statement means:

A)    30 percent of the variation in the population arises from environmental differences between people

B)     personality traits are 70 percent genetic and 30 percent environmental

C)     the similarities between people are caused 70 percent by shared genes and 30 percent by shared environmental effects on development

D)    the trait in question cannot have evolved because there is so much genetic variation still remaining in the population



Animal Behavior

Sp2001                                                            1st Exam                      Name___________________

Fill in the blank:


______________Developing a hypothesis from a casual question, followed by tests of generated

                                     predictions and conclusions about whether the hypothesis was right.

______________Study of the behavior of animals in their natural


______________Evolutionary change that occurs because of differences among populations in

                                    their possession of self-sacrificing individuals.

______________A possible explanation for how or why  a particular behavior


______________Mechanism that involves a genetic or developmental


______________Process by which reproductively disadvantageous traits become rarer over

                                    evolutionary time.

______________Logical expectations that form the basis of tests of


______________Learning to associate a voluntary action with the consequences that follow

                                    from performing it.

______________Ability of animals to consistently acquire the neural and hormonal substrates

                                    for normal behavior, even under less than optimal conditions.

______________Social learning in which an animal follows after the first object it sees after

                                    hatching or birth

______________When a researcher increases or decreases the frequency of a particular allele

                                    associated with a behavioral trait over time.

______________Differential treatment of members of the same species in a way that depends

                                    on their genetic relatedness to the discriminating individuals.

______________The ability of individuals to change their behavior in response to changes in

                                    proximate cues and inputs.

______________Additional possible explanations for why or how a behavior occurs that

                                    strengthen the conclusions you reach when testing predictions.

______________Vocal differences among populations of birds and mammals that occur in

                                    geographically distinct areas.

______________The biologist who developed the theory of evolution by natural


______________Species whose young are reared by another


______________Evolutionary (historical) pathways leading to a

                                    current behavior.

______________The time frame during which a bird must hear its species specific song

                                    after hatching if it is ever to sing a normal full song.

______________Helping another individual without expectation of future benefits;

                                    self-sacrificing behavior.



Animal Behavior

Sp2001                                                            1st Exam                      Name___________________

Short Answer:


What 3 conditions are required for natural selection to generate evolutionary change in a population?





Some people have argued that the reason female birds will not mate with male birds that do not have a territory is that these males are surplus males that are not needed to maintain the growth of the population.  What is the problem with this explanation from the perspective of natural selection theory?






What is wrong with this definition?  " Natural selection causes individuals to change when they need to adapt to changed environmental pressures."





If I claim that green skin is "selectively advantageous", what do I mean?




A famous moth species (salt & pepper moth) in England exhibits variation with a dark-colored form and a whitish form.  Over many generations, the dark form of the species has become more common in some parts of England.  What evidence would you need in order to conclude that natural selection was responsible for this change in the moth species?





If one spadefoot toad lays 125 fertilized eggs, and another lays 158, can we say which one has the greater reproductive success? Explain.




Describe Harlows work on developmental homeostasis in rhesus monkeys.  What kinds of surrogate mothers were acceptable to infants and did they have the same effects?



Animal Behavior

Sp2001                                                            1st Exam                                  Name_____________


List 4 different environmental influences on the development of singing behavior in the White-crowned Sparrow.






Are the differences between songs sung by a completely isolated male White-crowned Sparrow and one reared in a laboratory cage with tutor tapes of White-crowned Sparrow song likely to be largely genetic or largely environmental?  Explain.






Chemotherapy treatment for cancer in humans leads to nausea and aversions to foods.  If I were to say that the food aversion effect of chemotherapy was a side effect of a generally adaptive learning mechanism, what would I mean?






We can test the hypothesis that sex differences in spatial learning ability evolve when the two sexes range over different sized areas by looking at spatial learning in Black-capped Chickadee and Marsh Wren males and females.  Chickadees are monogamous living together in a shared territory.  Wrens are polygamous with several females living in the males territory.  What prediction might you make based on the hypothesis above?  What prediction might you generate that involves neuronal tissue?






What studies have supported the interactive theory of development (specifically that genetic

 Makeup and hormonal environments influence male vs female differences in behavior)?

Your example can be bird, rat, mouse or honeybee.