Animal Behaviour

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Hektor
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Animal Behaviour

Post by Hektor » Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:22 pm

I have to come up with an experiment, which involves the observation of behaviour in an animal, with at least one measurable variable. I have limited time (two weeks) and resources.

I was thinking of using my dog for the experiment, testing wether her protective behaviour (she goes crazy when people harm me, or pretend to) is instinct passed from her ancestors, or a learnt trait. Although I'm not sure how to conduct the experiment (I don't really have access to a wolf) or what the variable should be.

Any help on this would really be great!

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Post by b_d_41501 » Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:14 pm

My dog does this as well. I practice Shaolin-Do and whenever I try to demonstrate self-defense to my fiance, my dog flips out. We have never taught this to her, so I always assumed it was an instinct.
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James
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Post by James » Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:30 pm

Sounds like the pack instinct coming out.

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charles brough
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Post by charles brough » Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:12 pm

How about putting your dog on a leash and letting it go where ever it wants. Then map where it goes. I think you will come up with a very interesting map! The dog will show itself to be going in a seemingly aimlessly back and forth way. Then come up with an explanation! Hint: the dog is "reading its newspaper" i.e., keeping up on what is going on. It figures out one site by smell, sizes up the dog that wet there, then comes back to savour its discovery a couple of time and thoroughly enjoys the whole experience!

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Dr.Stein
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Post by Dr.Stein » Sun Jul 17, 2005 3:16 am

It is subjective to use a house dog for the behavior study. It would be better if you use wild animals. But since it is just for practical, I think it is ok.

Do you have chicken family? Hen, cock, and their youngs? It is nice to watch their daily life, from the dawn till evening. Watch for their behave and sounds they make. They are very funny. 10 days is enough for the observation I think. :wink:
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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:07 pm

Baby chickens are sweet. I like to play with them...
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Dr.Stein
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Post by Dr.Stein » Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:42 am

Yeah, they are cutie :D Their behavior also interesting to learn. They will "claim" first individual they see when they hatched as their "mother". So you can do this experiment:
Put some fertilized eggs in hatching machine with the proper environment of course, and you should be there at the time they hatch. Move them to a place and feed them well. In couple days they will follow you wherever you go :lol:
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James
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Post by James » Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:00 pm

It's called imprinting, and gives the offspring the best chance to survive- just follow their mother.

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Dr.Stein
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Post by Dr.Stein » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:10 am

Yes. We can teach those cutie baby chicken as well, for instance we put their food in a certain place, feed them in a certain time, they will run to that place on that such time and will wait for getting their food. Or the next level, put a transparent toy that show their food but they cannot easily get it. They will learn to release food, for instance, in our education here, they peck on its tip and the food will come out. If they do not do this, they will not get food and stay hungry ;)
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Post by Ange » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:25 am

If your still thinking of dogs, it's better to use wild ones....
In my country, the wild dogs has a behaviour, or better called instinct, to run away when you crouch. Why: people (well mostly... not me anyway) in the villages usually throw rocks at them if they get too close. So when you crouch the dogs seem to think you're picking rocks...... or if you're unlucky they're attack you to defend themselves.
Another time when I'm in Aussie, a friend's dog barks and frightens us each day. Then on one day I sprayed him with water from the hose and he suddenly fell quite. Still everyday he barks and scare people. But everytime he see me with a hose (watering the front yard... duh.....) he always quite down.....
According to me, behaviour is a learned trait then passed to their children (from the animal who learnt it) so the children had better chance of survival.....

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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:41 pm

Ange wrote:According to me, behaviour is a learned trait then passed to their children (from the animal who learnt it) so the children had better chance of survival.....

There is no such thing. What you are saying is Lamarkism. Conditioned rflexes are not passed down to offspring. For example: my son will not know biology when he will be born
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James
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Post by James » Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:51 pm

I think Ange means offspring are taught behaviour by viewing their parents- which is true in some cases.

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