Dictionary > Behavioural ecology

Behavioural ecology

Definition
noun
The study of behavioral adaptations and interactions of animals within a population in relation to the selective pressures in a particular ecological environment
Supplement
Behavioral ecology is a sub-discipline of animal biology. It focuses on the behavioral adaptations and interactions of animals within a population in relation to the selective pressures in a particular ecological environment. It stems from ethology, which studies animal behavior in its natural habitat. An individual specializing in this field is called behavioral ecologist. Niko Tinbergen is credited as one of the founders of behavioral ecology for his contributions in the understanding of how natural selection shapes animal behavior. He investigated how the adaptive behavior of animals increases their reproductive and survival values in their natural habitat.
Behavioral ecology is concerned with answering questions such as if the behavior of an animal is adaptive, and if it is, how then it becomes adaptive. There are two major types of questions: the proximate questions (or the “how”) and the ultimate questions (or the “why”). The proximate queries attempt to understand how a particular behavior develops and evolves. Environmental stimuli that triggered a behavior are determined. It also looks upon the genetic, physiological, and structural systems that lead to a particular behavior. The ultimate questions attempt to address the significance of that behavior to the animal’s evolution, survival, and reproduction.
Variant(s):

  • behavioural ecology

See also:

  • ethology
  • zoology
  • ecology


  • You will also like...

    Origins of Life on Earth
    Origins of Life on Earth

    Earth was created around 4.5 billion years ago and life began not long after. Primitive life likely possessed the elemen..

    green plant cells
    Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

    Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

    Stem
    Stems

    Stems primarily provide plants structural support. This tutorial includes lectures on the external form of a woody twig ..

    Plant biology
    Plant Biology

    Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

    A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
    Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

    One of Mendel’s law of inheritance is the “law of dominance”. Read this tutorial to know more about this form of i..

    bryophyte - sporophyte and gametophyte
    Meiosis and Alternation of Generations

    Plants are characterized by having alternation of generations in their life cycles. This tutorial is a review of plant m..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics