behavioral ecology

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Behavioral ecology

The branch of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary causes of variation in behavior among populations and species. Thus it is concerned with the adaptiveness of behavior, the ultimate questions of why animals behave as they do, rather than the proximate questions of how they behave. The principles of natural selection are applied to behavior with the underlying assumption that, within the constraints of their evolutionary histories, animals behave optimally by maximizing their genetic contribution to future generations. For example, animals must maintain their internal physiological conditions within certain limits in order to function properly, and often they do this by behavior. Small organisms may avoid desiccation by living under logs or by burrowing. Many insects must raise body temperatures to 86–95°F (30–35°C) for effective flight, and achieve this by muscular activity such as the shivering of butterflies in the early morning or by orienting to the Sun. Other adaptive behaviors that are studied may fall in the categories of habitat selection, foraging, territoriality, and reproduction. See Behavior genetics, Ethology, Migratory behavior, Reproductive behavior

behavioral ecology

[bi′hāv·yə·rəl ē′käl·ə·jē]
The branch of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary causes of variation in behavior among populations and species.
References in periodicals archive ?
The third chapter is equally inspiring, focusing on the "functional and behavioral ecology of tree fruit pests.
edu innovations in science instruction, communication across the curriculum, evolution, behavioral ecology Please, share your ideas and send manuscripts to leonard@clemson.
His research focuses on behavioral ecology of salmon populations.
Dawkins, and the branch of ethology known as behavioral ecology.
It publishes research and articles in theoretical ecology, including ecophysiology, population ecology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary ecology, ecosystm ecology, and ecosystem and landscape ecology.
Behavioral ecology of insect parasitoids; from theoretical approaches to field applications.
a biologist who specializes in animal behavior, the study of animal minds, and behavioral ecology, writes, "People are often not aware that they are interfering in the lives of the animals in whom they are interested.
In the field of human behavioral ecology, Costly Signaling Theory (CST) is often employed to explain the existence of seemingly "wasteful" behaviors such as hunting and distributing game widely among non-kin.
Cats demonstrate an adaptable behavioral ecology, which is a sign of intelligence beyond instinct or conditioning," says Dr.
The first concerns how the respective contributions of behavioral genetics and behavioral ecology will compare over time, and how those efforts might best be joined.

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