How is innate animal behavior passed down without being taught?

105 viewsBiologyOther

Is it even possible, for example, for a bird to not know how to build a nest, or for a beaver to not know how to build a dam?

In: Biology

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

it is a natural outcome of evolutionary biology.

Birds that can’t build nests or beavers that can’t build dams will be much more likely to struggle and die prematurely, which means they can’t pass on their genes to a future generation. The animals that develop innate behaviors to improve their survival will live to produce offspring, who will then generally inherit the same behaviors, and go on to produce more offspring.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The drive you are referring to, is called instinct. “DNA plays a critical role in these processes, but does not by itself create traits. Accordingly, instincts are not preprogrammed, hardwired, or genetically determined; rather, they emerge each generation **through a complex cascade of physical and biological influences**”

What they mean is they’re not born knowing these things, but instead they reliably develop as habits or practices due to the creature’s development and environmental circumstances.

The result of this being there ARE occasionally animals that fail to develop a common instinct for their breed, but also animals that develop their instincts even in compromised environments. For example, there is an orphan beaver that lives in a house with people, yet is still compelled and pushes it’s toys to one place to dam them up.