Primate Behavior Analysis

551 Words3 Pages
Ethology refers to an animal’s behavior. Behavior is a result of a detectable change in the animal’s internal or external environment. These responses may be chemical or physical. The non-human primate is our closest relative, and to get a better understanding of our biological origins we study their behavior. Ethologist Niko Tinbergen, observed animals in their natural conditions and manipulated those conditions to learn how they respond. He proposed a theoretical framework for explaining the behavior of animals which consist of four causes. The first cause, proximal cause refers to the internal change in the animal that elicits a particular behavior. Proximal causes such as genetics, hormonal mechanism, neural mechanism and environmental conditions work to produce variation in primate behavior. Behavior is a product of the interaction between both genes and environment. The extent to which genes controls behavior differs from one behavior to the next. Each individual is innately born with a different set of genetic traits found only in that particular animal or species. While genetic change is a random process, natural selection chooses the more phenotypically fit opposed to individuals…show more content…
Hormones such as testosterones stimulate the development of secondary sex traits and raise the prospects for aggressive and sexual behavior. Testosterone begins to show its affect in utero and can affect the brain and development. When pregnant rhesus macaques monkey where injected with testosterone hormone, the fetuses resulted in an enlarged clitoris and masculine behaviors (Berkovitch, 1999). While an increase in testosterone increases a male’s aggressive and sexual behavior social factors can also influence the way the behavior is expressed. Lower ranking male talapoin monkeys mate less than dominant males not because of testosterone levels but because their behavior is suppressed by the dominant

More about Primate Behavior Analysis

Open Document