Did your observations support your hypothesis? Explain and support with data

Did your observations support your hypothesis? Explain and support with data

Did your observations support your hypothesis? Explain and support with data 150 150 Nyagu

Lab: Studying Animal Behavior with Ethograms Preliminary Information The study of animal behavior starts with a description of behavior. Before a sociobiologist (a scientist specializing in animal behavior), can study how behavior develops, or what causes it, or how it affects an animal’s ability to survive and reproduce, s/he must identify and thoroughly describe the postures, movements, sounds, etc. that constitute the behavior. Describing behavior can be difficult, so sociobiologists use a standard technique called an ethogram. An ethogram is an inventory of the behaviors of a species, with the behaviors carefully described and organized into categories. This organized structure enables biologists to discover how each behavior helps the animal to survive, to mate, and to reproduce. Ethograms also allow sociobiologists to speculate about the evolution of behavior because similar behaviors can be compared among species in an evolutionary lineage. Finally, ethograms are important when planning habitats for captive animals and are useful in evaluating the effects of a particular habitat on the animals mental and physical health. Methods Ethogram (categories of behavior) Choose an animal you can comfortably observe for at least 30 minutes (you can break this up into shorter intervals, as long as total time is 30 minutes). The animal can be a pet or one you see frequently outdoors. Your first observation will last 15 minutes and you will use this time to identify and describe categories of behavior (for example, walking, sleeping, and eating, etc.) exhibited by your animal. The descriptions should be detailed enough to allow someone else to identify your categories unambiguously. List and describe the behaviors below. Note – start this observation when your animal is NOT sleeping! Common name of animal _____________________________________________________________________________ Scientific Name _____________________________________________________________________________________ Category of behavior Example: resting. Description Example: animal is inactive but awake. Name _____________________________________________________ Section ____________ Hypothesis: Which behavior will occupy the majority of the animal’s time? Write your hypothesis here: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Time Budget 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Write the categories of behavior you identified across the top row of the Time Budget Data Table (next page). Observe your animal for another 15 minutes. At 30 second intervals, check off the behavior exhibited by the animal. Note: add behavior categories as needed. Sum the number of check marks under each behavior and record as Total Occurrences. Calculate the percent time spent in each behavior. Divide the total occurrences by the total number of time intervals. In the example, the number of time intervals is 6. For your data, there will be 30 time intervals. Example. Common name: Goldfish eating Scientific Name: Carassius auratus swimming Behavior chasing Time 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 resting x being chased Total Occurrences (sum check marks) Percent of time: (total/6) x 100 3 2 1 3/6 x100 = 50% 2/6 x 100 = 33% 1/6 x 100 = 17% x x x x x Data analysis – Construct a bar graph of the percentage of time spent in each behavior, called a “Time Budget”, on the included graph paper. Refer to the example below. Example. Time Budget for Goldfish, Carassius auratus. Being chased Resting Swimming 2 Name _____________________________________________________ Section ____________ Time Budget Data Table Common name: ___________________________ Time ——————0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5 14 14.5 Scientific Name: ______________________________________ Behavior Total Occurrences (sum check marks) Percent of time: (total/30) x 100 3 Name _____________________________________________________ Section ____________ Time Budget Bar Graph (remember to label both axes and give the graph a Title) 4 Name _____________________________________________________ Section ____________ Discussion Questions 1. Did your observations support your hypothesis? Explain and support with data. 2. What type(s) of communication did you observe your animals using? Reference your book or lecture notes and provide an example. 3. Write at least one new question you have about the animal’s behavior. 4. Do you think your time budget ethogram accurately describes the typical behavior of the animal throughout the day? Throughout the year? Explain. 5
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