Dingle, Hugh Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, California.
Frumhoff, Peter Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, California.
Last reviewed:August 2019
Show previous versions
- Behavioral homeostasis
- Habitat selection
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The branch of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary causes of variation in behavior among populations and species. The scientific study of behavioral ecology investigates how changes of behavior are influenced by ecological factors (Fig. 1). Thus, behavioral ecology is concerned with the adaptiveness of behavior, as well as 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. Several aspects of both individual and social behavior have been analyzed from this perspective. See also: Animal evolution; Behavior genetics; Ecology; Ethology; Instinctive behavior; Social mammals; Sociobiology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information