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Animals - Social and Cyclic Behavior Study Guide

🗻 Big Picture: Social behavior in animals encompasses all of the mechanisms through which an animal perceives the external world and its internal condition and responds accordingly.

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Introduction

Behavior is organized into recognized patterns, referred to as behavioral "units." The same animal will repeat the same movement pattern repeatedly, and different individuals of the same species will act in very similar ways.


Cyclic Behavior

There are two basic types of cyclic behaviors: circadian rhythms and migration. Let's go over them below.

Cyclic Behavior Source

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian Rhythms are 24-hour cycles of regular changes in biology or behavior. For example, blood pressure and body temperature vary in a predictable pattern during each 24-hour day in humans.

circadian rhythm Source

Circadian rhythms are governed by a microscopic mechanism called the biological clock in many animals, including humans.

  • This structure is found in a gland at the brain's base. The body receives cues from the biological clock, and the signals drive behavior and bodily processes to change regularly.

  • The quantity of light that enters the eyes aids in regulating the biological clock. Changes are triggered by the clock every 24 hours.

  • Morning and evening circadian rhythms are two types of circadian rhythms that have been studied extensively.

  • Each 24-hour cycle consists of a single light span followed by a single dark span, both of which vary in length over the year. When one span gets longer, the other one gets shorter.

  • Biological rhythms are widespread living occurrences observed in all major groupings of species, yet they are usually overlooked. The amount of time it takes to repeat a rhythmic cycle has been used to divide rhythms into three categories: circadian (20–28 h), ultradian (20 h), and infradian (>28 h).

Migration

Seasonal movements of animals from one location to another are called migrations. Migrants generally travel great distances and follow the same routes throughout the year.

Typically, migrants go to another location in search of food or mates. Many animals, including birds, fish, and insects, migrate, and Whales and caribou are among the mammals that migrate.

Migration Source

Hibernation

Hibernation is another example of behavior having an annual cycle. Hibernation is when an animal's physiological functions are slowed, and its body temperature drops.

  • During hibernation, an animal needs less energy than usual, and this assists the animal in surviving during a season when food is limited.

  • Hibernation might be weeks or months long. Bats, squirrels, and snakes are among the animals that hibernate.

  • The majority of people believe that bears hibernate. In reality, bears do not go into actual hibernation. They fall into a deep sleep in the winter. Their biological functions do not slow down much, and their body temperature is approximately the same as it is normally. Bears may easily be roused from their winter slumber.


Social Behaviors

penguins Source

Social animals are animals that live in a community. A community is defined as a group of populations of two or more species living and interacting with one another in the same area at the same time.

In general, each group member fulfills a defined function in society. Cooperation enables the group to do numerous tasks that a single animal could never accomplish. Take ants for example. They can transport a giant bug back to the nest to feed other members of their community because they work together.

  • In order to collaborate, individuals must be able to communicate. Animals use noises and visual signals to communicate. Birds sing and frogs croak, for example, to communicate via noises.

  • Pheromones are another way animals communicate. An example of this is how ants mark paths to food sources with pheromones so that other ants may discover them, or how male dogs use pheromones in urine to mark their territory.

Aggression

Aggression is defined as behavior meant to damage or injure another individual. It can include both physical and non-physical forms of aggression against another organism.

  • An example of non-physical aggression is how a gorilla may pound its chest and beat the ground in a form of display behavior to warn other gorillas to stay away from their territory. This saves energy and reduces the risk of injury and death.

  • If this tactic doesn't work, the gorilla may resort to physical aggression against another gorilla, during which the two animals may inflict serious injury on one another with their canine-like teeth. Aggression expressed in this manner can result in serious injury or even death.

gorilla Source

Competition

When individuals fight for the same resources, aggressive behavior is common. Territory, water, food, and mates are all things that animals compete for. The primary forms of competition are intraspecific and interspecific.

Aggression vultures Source

  • Intraspecific competition occurs when individuals of the same species compete against one another. Two male deer, for example, may battle for mates by colliding with their antlers.

  • Interspecific competition occurs when individuals of different species compete against each other. For example, one ant species may assault and take over another ant species' colony.


✅ Conclusion

  • Behavior encompasses all of the mechanisms through which an animal perceives the external world as well as its own internal condition and responds accordingly.

  • There are two basic types of cyclic behaviors: circadian rhythms and migration

  • Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles of regular changes in biology or behavior.

  • Seasonal movements of animals from one location to another are referred to as migration.

  • Intraspecific and interspecific competition are the two primary forms of competition.


FAQs

1. What are cyclic behaviors in animals?

There are two basic types of cyclic behaviors: circadian rhythms and migration. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles of regular changes in biology or behavior. Seasonal movements of animals from one location to another are called migration.

2. What are social behaviors in animals?

When two or more individual animals, generally of the same species, create basic aggregations, collaborate in sexual or parental behavior, participate in territorial conflicts and access to mates, or communicate across space, they engage in social behaviors.

3. What is the benefit of using non-physical aggression?

Non-physical aggression saves energy and reduces the risk of injury or death.

4. What is a social animal?

A social animal is an animal that lives in a community, which is defined as a group of populations of two or more species living and interacting with one another in the same area at the same time.

5. What are some examples of group behavior among animals?

Swarming, marching of locusts, nest building by ants are examples of group behavior among animals.

We hope you enjoyed studying this lesson and learned something cool about Animals: Social and Cyclic Behavior! Join our Discord community to get any questions you may have answered and to engage with other students just like you! Don't forget to download our App to experience our fun, VR classrooms - we promise, it makes studying much more fun! 😎

Sources

  1. Social Behavior. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/10.6/primary/lesson/social-behavior-of-animals-bio/. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.

  2. Animal social behaviour. https://www.britannica.com/topic/animal-social-behaviour. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.

  3. Social Behavior of Animals. https://bio.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Introductory_and_General_Biology/Book%3A_Introductory_Biology_(CK-12)/10%3A_Animals/10.06%3A_Social_Behavior_of_Animals. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.