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  1. Articulate your own scientifically-sound definition of play. Explain your reasoning for this definition. Using a combination of behavioral, neuroethological and endocrinological measures, how could you test whether play led to positive emotional states in the non-human animals being studied?
  • Imagine you are studying a group of amphibian species that vary in their habitats, some living in dense, murky water and others living in very clear ponds. What kind of communication problems exist in each environment? What differences in communication systems would be expected across the species given the habitat differences?
  • In class we discussed the impact of anthropogenic effects on animal behavior. Select three (3) of the following examples and carefully and IN DETAIL explain each of them, being sure to indicate how the behavioral change may be impacting or might impact the lives and survival of these animals and their species.
  1. Symmetry and environmental stress
  2. Predation and ocean water chemistry
  3. Dispersal and environmental cues
  4. Personality and conflict
  5. Play and environmental stress
  6. Parental care, loss of habitat and migration
  7. Stress hormones and human presence
  • A) How has natural selection via sperm competition shaped both sperm morphology and male behavior? B) Create a list of potential ways in which female traits and behaviors may affect sperm competition and male behavior.
  • EXTRA CREDIT: At the start of the semester I mentioned that the concept of ‘equipoise’, as it pertains to ethical considerations of nonhuman animals in the ethological research.

To complete this essay you need to read, and refer to “A Belmont Report for Animals” (2019) written by Ferdowsian et al. This paper has been posted. In it Ferdowsian et al. write:

Human and animal research both operate within established standards. In the United States, criticism of the human research environment and recorded abuses of human research subjects served as the impetus for the establishment of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, and the resulting Belmont Report. The Belmont Report established key ethical principles to which human research should adhere: respect for autonomy, obligations to beneficence and justice, and special protections for vulnerable individuals and populations. While current guidelines appropriately aim to protect the individual interests of human participants in research, no similar, comprehensive, and principled effort has addressed the use of (nonhuman) animals in research.

In your essay, summarize the types of methodologies used in the animal behavioral research discussed throughout the semester as it relates to this essay and address how non-human animal behavioral research might be affected if the concept of equipoise was an expected consideration and regulated in ethological research.

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