Behavior (biology)

behavior is a central term of behavior biology. It refers to all outwardly perceptible and therefore also with technical aids detectable, active changes, movements, positions, body attitudes, gestures and sound expressions of humans or an animal as well as to those more or less short term, reversible color and deformations or isolations of substances, which serve the communication in possibly a form (for example pheromones).

Behavior understood about behavior biology as adjustment achievement of an intact organism to its natural environment. With the death of an individual therefore also its behavior ends.

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the term behavior

the term behavior was not developed from the natural sciences, it come of rather the everyday life language. Similarly as for example the terms lives (viruses are alive?) and kind (which are the common characteristics of a kind?) “behavior” cannot be also explained therefore by knappe a definition finally; the life procedures brought out in the process of master history by the process of the evolution are too complex.

Even if those justifies in the highest paragraph shown definition of behavior usual among behavior researchers as scientific and appears plausible, she requires therefore nevertheless additional explanations and restrictions

behavior is called: actively its

behavior is always bound at living individuals or groups - also stones can break off from a cliff and move so downward; this movement was caused however completely by external influences. It is not „own contribution “of an actively acting or reacting subject, for which change, movement, attitude the called behavior or expression have a certain function (a purpose, a meaning). For a Zecke, which can be fallen from a bush on a warm-bloody animal, falling has however free of doubts a function. The term behavior becomes therefore in all rule only on organisms with a possibility for the data processing, e.g. a nervous system, applied, which are capable of active progressive movement (at least occasional). However also the movements can be arranged of firmly sitting Nesseltieren as behavior.

also fear rigidity is „behavior “

behavior is bound not only at visible movements or changes of an organism. Behavior expresses itself also in features such as peace, sleep, stretcher rigidity, fear rigidity or Lauerstellung, which are over a certain time interval stationary conditions. A quietly sitting butterfly female, odoriferous substances sends or motionlessly in emptiness rigid that humans („a philosopher “) behaves also without recognizable movement.

one can itself does not non-hold back

one can in a thought experiment try to find situations in which one does not behave - even extremely passive conditions like deep sleep one will like to hardly add to this category „of the non--behavior “. Among behavior biologists there is therefore the rule: One cannot non-hold back oneself. Only and also deep unconsciousness (situations thus, which question the independence and independence of the individual completely) one can understand extreme situations like the process of the bearing becoming, dying as exception of the mentioned rule.

is there “behavior” in the inner body?

Occasionally the term behavior is used also by biologists in a very large sense: the fact that each body cell and each organ in an organism “behave” in a defined way or should hold back. The Nesselzellen of Medusen for example can fulfill still relatively for a long time their function, after an animal was not rinsed to the beach and at it further signs of life more to be observed is. Generally this kind of the behavior is summarized within an organism however under the term physiology (see also: Pathophysiology). The interrelations between the physiology and the behavior in the ethologischen sense are however extensive and are research article of many disciplines in behavior biology.

are intestine movements „behavior “?

A restriction of the definition of behavior refers finally to visible and for the individual significant movements, which can be interpreted nevertheless as purely passive: One will not call the movements of the intestine or the bare isolation of sweat from the skin glands with heat generally „behavior “. However activities fall like a setting from excrement and urine off clearly under this category.

plants: a special case

also plants, mushrooms, Protisten and bacteria react to attractions of the environment, and these reactions can take similar forms as with animals:

The behavior researchers (and also the Botaniker) speak nevertheless here traditionally not of behavior, but generally of reaction. With these reaction forms are occupied among other things the physiology and the ecology.

comparison direction of behavior biology mentioned by

behaviors over kind borders away researchers from the surrounding field of the behavior research comparing first and late Ethologie were first, which compared systematically the behavior of different kinds with one another. Konrad Lorenz for example became estimated among experts particularly because of its comparative studies at duck and goose birds, already published into the 1930er-Jahren: It had set behaviors in similar way to each other in relationship, as this was in comparative anatomy for a long time the case. So also master history could be reconstructed by behaviors in some cases.

While comparing of behaviors close of related kinds as method of the biological research is today all-side accepted, most behavior biologists - in contrast to laymen - lean analogy reasoning from a kind to one only far away relatives kind off. This applies in particular to a transmission of human behavior on animals. Also there are hardly experimental investigations, which permitted it for example, tendencies such as mourning, rage, depressions and. A., which are own humans to award also to animals. For example the experiments of Harry Harlow showed nevertheless that at least many Primaten can be shifted in tendencies, which are extraordinarily similar to those of humans.

Also with domestizierten animals, particularly since with such, which live in natural environment in the herd, changes of behavior leave themselves to determine with the loss of the reference person, which are mourning of humans comparable to those. This applies also to some animal species, with which the attained full growth individuals in sexual partnership of many years live. By Konrad Lorenz admits became above all the intensive search behavior of female grey geese, which lost their partner.

the search for the causes of behavior

a certain behavior can both by simple internal, physiological attractions (for example: Hunger feeling) and by more complex, but also innate components (“instinct behavior”; an example is the search for fodder) to be released. Furthermore behavior can be released as reaction to changes in the environment; in this case it is released by exogenous attractions. A clear statement, in which internal and outside causes are responsible to mass for a certain behavior, is frequently not possible for the observer.

Almost any study in the area of behavior biology, developing today, dedicates itself to the search for the causes of behavior; purely describing studies are only very rare, as they distinguished the classical comparative behavior research. Nevertheless also today still another clear description of behaviors is always the condition for a large analysis.

Two kinds can general be distinguished from causes against each other: the proximaten and the ultimatums causes of behavior:

  • proximate causes are the direct causes: Which inside (physiological, neurological, hormoneal) and outside (of the environment caused) factors produce a straight observable behavior?
  • ultimate causes are the characteristics developed in the process of master history: On the basis of which genes and which ererbten behavior programs carries out itself the observable behavior?

Frequently must besides a third cause are considered:

  • the influences of behaviors in former times shown: Which individual experiences (learn, coinage) affect the expiration of the observable behavior.

To the study of the phenomenon behavior therefore many Forschungsgebiete contribute. Apart from the various directions of behavior biology are these above all:

examples of complex behaviors

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