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]
(ecology)
The branch of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary causes of variation in behavior among populations and species.
References in periodicals archive ?
A comparison of these two regions by applying state-of-the-art stone tool technology and raw material economy analyses, geochemical sourcing and GIS geospatial techniques in tandem with anthropological methods and theories derived from the human behavioural ecology and social agency has never previously been attempted.
O'Connell's model and Morin's investigation are grounded in human behavioural ecology, and subsequent predictions flow from there.
Dr Sean Twiss, lecturer in behavioural ecology at Durham University, said: "Being able to identify seals as individuals is critical to all of our work, and we are finding that these seals show remarkable individuality in the way they behave.
Professor of behavioural ecology at the University of Sheffield, Tim Birkhead has been coming to the spectacular island for 40 years observing the Amos guillemots.
The study has published online in Behavioural Ecology.
Differently coloured insects marked by scientists interested in behavioural ecology attracted a lot of attention from children.
Writing in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, they said such men produced, on average, more than two-and-ahalf children.
She wrote in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology: "Finding a social partner, whatever its sex, could be a priority.
Writing in Behavioural Ecology, co-author Professor Kevin Laland said: "Ninespined sticklebacks may be the geniuses of the fish world.
The fish's lack of dietary diversity makes them less adaptable as their sole food source faces stress from pollution and climate change, the scientists said in a study published in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.
The findings of the study are published in the paper ``Cooperation and competition in two forest monkeys'' in the current issue of Behavioural Ecology.
Time: A hidden constraint on the behavioural ecology of baboons.

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