Module 13 Lesson 1 Assignment 1

Biology Terms


Behavior is the manner of conducting oneself. There is both innate behavior and learned behavior as well. Learned behavior is a a trait or behavior learned over a period of time. An example of this would be teaching a dog to use the restroom outside. Innate behavior is a behavior that an animal knows how to do from birth. An example of this would be a cat stalking its prey or a spider spinning its web.

Natural Behavior

Nature has a definite influence on an animal's behavior. Behaviors that are influenced by nature are predetermined innate behaviors that involve life functions. An example of Natural behaviors would be a newborn following the mother or the non learned ability to come to their mother for food.

Nurtured Behavior

Natural behaviors are also learned behaviors. these need to be taught in order for the animal to know how to do them. Each nurtured behavior may be environmental, situational, or based off of personal experiences of the organism.

Innate Behavior

Innate behavior is a completely instinctive to an animal. These behaviors do not need to be observed before they can be performed, but are behaviors that any newborn can do shortly after birth, with no practice. A few examples of an innate behavior is crying and suckling.

Fixed Action Plan

A fixed action plan is an unchangeable that continues to the end until the action is complete. For example, yawning or sneezing. A fixed action plan is typically triggered by a specific stimulus, or a series of actions that contribute to the one action plan.
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Foraging is the acquisition of food by any means. An animal can catch food in multiple ways. They can trap it, fish, hunt or gather it. Foraging is vital to any animals survival because it is their source of food.


Learning is a change of behavior due to something the animal may have experienced. For example if an animal touches an electric fence, they will likely try to avoid the fence from that point on.


Maturation is improvement in a behavior due to the development of the neuromuscular system. An example of this would be a faster throwing speed in baseball, or swinging speed, or even more speed in general when running.


Habituation is the diminishing of physiological or emotional response to a stimulus that is often repeated and deemed unimportant. An example of this is associating a fire alarm with nothing more than a practice, instead of their being an actual fire.


Imprinting is a type of learning during a specific stage of development. An example of this would be a newborn attaching to the mother or father. The sensitive period is a time phase during development when particular behaviors occur. For example, going from not being able to move under your own power, to crawling, to walking.

Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning is the process of associating 2 unrelated stimuli which will create a specific response. This was discovered during the experiment of Pavlov's dogs. During this experiment, dogs were fed every time a bell rang. The dogs began to salivate simply from hearing the sound of the bell in anticipation of food.
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Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning is based on the practice of trial and error. The subject will associate the stimulus with either reward or punishment. An example of this would be a child learning to stay away from an ant hill after being bit.


Play in animals is simply the practice of certain behaviors. These behaviors provide benefits for the animal, including socialization and exercise. An example of this would be the practice of hunting and stalking prey.


Kinesis is a change in activity in response to a specific stimulus. For example, an animal might play more when it is warmer outside and less when it is colder outside. This change in activity level is known as kinesis.


Taxis is an automatic movement toward or away from a certain stimulus. An example of this would be a plant growing toward the sun in order to receive more light.


Migration is the seasonal movement of animals over long distances. The animals who migrate, typically use landmarks as a way to determine distance. A few examples of this is birds migrating south for winter, same goes for the Monarch Butterfly.
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A ritual is a specific task or behavior that is performed something else, such as mating call before mating.


A signal in biology is any kind of code sent from one animal to another animal. These signals could be vocal, physical, or chemical. An example of a vocal signal would be a mating call, to signal that a animal is ready to mate.