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Animal behaviour and research into attitudes on animal testing.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

BEHAVIOUR IN ANIMALS AND HUMANS Introduction Animal behaviour is the behaviour of animals when they respond to their surrounding environment. Ethology is the study of animal behaviour. Animals' behaviour is essential to how they survive and continue their kind. Instinctive Instinctive behaviour is natural and is not learned. It's inherited from the animal's parents and therefore the animal has instinctive behaviour embedded into its body from birth. For example, pipefish know instantly how to hunt for food when they're born. It can be a simple reflex or it can be a courtship practice which is much more complicated. The stimulus which triggers instinctive responses doesn't necessarily have to be in the surround environment (outside the body); it can also be inside the body. One example of this is the human knee-jerk reflex. The tapping of the tendon results in a sudden contraction in the quadriceps which brings the lower leg forward. Instinctive behaviour can prevent injury. For instance, if there is fire near an animal it will instinctively move away, even though it may have not seen it before. Instinctive behaviour is important as it eliminates the thinking time and prevents injury much quicker than it would if the animal were to think about it. Learned Learned behaviour is another type of behaviour. It is enhanced through experience from living in the wild. Experience helps animals determine what the right thing to do is which is why some young animals are vulnerable due to their lack of life experience. Older animals tend to be the better survivors, since they've experienced more of life and the different situations than younger animals. Habituation is one type of learned behaviour. An animals may learn after a while that a stimulus is harmless and not worth reacting for. There are primary stimuli and secondary stimuli which cause animals to react. Primary stimuli are obvious and straightforward. For example, an animal may want to seek shelter if it's raining. ...read more.

Middle

This is the classic but strong argument. * Even though animal testing carries good intent, when the animal is killed it is the same as murder, even though the reason for killing and the method of killing may be different. Some people say that animals are destined to die when they enter the laboratory. * Rules and regulations enforcing cruelty and welfare haven't prevented scientists on being cruel. There was one case of a 2-year-old macaque monkey whose head had been carved into and electrodes attached to him brain, all while he was conscious. He had to undergo further misery by being put in a cage with no water and having to earn drinks by 'demonstrating his visual memory skills'. A research technician said that all this was 'nonsense' and that they only did it because they had to do something. These events are rare but not non-existent. * Being locked up in a confined space and going through sleep and water deprivation is nothing short of torture, some people believe. They have to suffer enormous amounts of stress, as they're completely illiterate when it comes to knowing what will happen to them the next day. In contrast, there are also people who feel otherwise. Here are some of their views: * Humans are the dominant species of this planet and so our lives are more important than other animals'. Our lives are prioritised and so other animals can be tested upon if it saves the lives of humans. * There are laws to prevent institutions from being cruel on their animals or not providing them with adequate treatment. * Millions of animals are killed each year for food. Humans can survive on just plants, so why does killing millions of animals not seem that bad. In fact, shouldn't using animals for medical research be a worthy death? Isn't it better for animals to die for medical research than for surplus food? ...read more.

Conclusion

so I considered it genuine. Conclusion I have learnt a lot about animal behaviour over the past few weeks I have been studying it. I have learnt that the way animals behave is important to how they will do in their lives. Whether that their hunting methods, or courtship rituals; if executed properly, they can surely bring rewards. Glossary * Animal ethics - ethics regarding the welfare of animals. * Animal testing - using animals to test for drugs, cosmetic products and more. * Carnivore - an animal which only eats meat (e.g. lions). * Conditioning - a process of changing the behaviour of someone by rewarding or punishing it each time an action is performed until it associates the action with a reward or punishment. * Courtship display - a special set of behaviours which some animals execute in order to impress a potential mate. * Effector - responds to a stimulus, transmits the reaction to the muscle. * Euthanasia - to kill someone painlessly, without distress. * Habituation - a learned behaviour in which an animal's response is reduced over the repetition of a certain stimulus - usually harmless. * Herbivore - an animal which only eats plants (e.g. cows). * Imprinting - where events in a certain period shape the future life of the animal. * Instinctive - an automatic, unlearned response to a stimulus. * Involuntary - not voluntary, unwilling. Usually a reflex. * Monogamous - an animal which only has one mating partner in its entire life. * Omnivore - an animal which eats both meat and plants (e.g. humans). * Pheromones - chemicals released which alter the behaviour of other organisms. * Polygamous - an animal which may have several mating partners in its entire life. * Predator - an animal that preys on other animals. * Prey - an animal that is preyed on by other animals. * Reflex - a reaction in which and animal/person doesn't have to think, instinctive. * Stimulus - a detectable change in the environment. * Voluntary - done on one's own choice. ...read more.

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