Animal behaviour (ethology) is an interesting field of study that has fascinated biologists for hundreds of years. From Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin to Konrad Lorenz, Ivan Pavlov and Skinner, scientists have studied animals and wondered how their behaviour relates to humans.
- Innate Behaviour – Reflexes, Kineses and Taxes (7.15 minute video)
- Learned Behaviour – Imprinting, Habituation and Conditioning (6.24 minute video)
- Animal behaviour (23.40 minute YouTube video) – What can we learn by using video cameras attached to animals or in their burrows to see the world from an animal’s perspective? Cameras were attached to reptiles, mammals and even insects to observe animal behaviour in their natural environment. These are animals from North America (wild turkeys, armadillo, moles and chickadees).
- Produce a slideshow showing the structural, functional and behavioural adaptations of some Australian native animals. For example, koala, kangaroo, emu, echidna, crocodile, tiger snake, thorny devil, platypus or kookaburra.
This week we start Chapter 12: Reproductive Strategies for Survival. Reproductive strategies include structual, functional and behavioural adaptations that increase opportunities for fertilization and/or improve survival of offspring. In the animal kingdom there are many different types of reproductive strategies:
- Type of reproduction (sexual or asexual)
- Gender system (separate male/female; hermaphrodite; parthenogenesis)
- Mode of fertilisation (internal or external)
- Mating system (monogamy; polygamy or promiscuity)
- Numbers of offspring (r-selected or K-selected)
- Place of development and source of nutrition for the embryo (oviparity or vivaparity)
- Investment of parental care into offspring (nil, single parent or both parents, extended family)
Environmental enrichment improves or enhances zoo environments for animals, stimulating them to investigate and interact with their surroundings. Zookeepers enrich animal environments by making changes to structures in their enclosures, presenting novel objects and smells for them to investigate and explore, and by changing how they present food to them. Doing all of these things alleviates boredom by giving animals more choice of activity. It encourages them to forage, hunt and handle their food in ways that are natural to them in the wild. The traditional method of feeding zoo animals out of a feed pan does little to stimulate complex feeding behaviors. Enrichment keeps zoo animals active and interested in their environment.
Find out more about Animal Enrichment at the Honolulu Zoo site, Animal Enrichment and Zoos Victoria.