Cracking the AP Biology Exam


Animal Behavior and Ecology

In the preceding chapters, we looked at individual organisms and the ways in which they solve life’s many problems: acquiring nutrition, reproducing, etc. Now let’s turn to how organisms deal with their environments. We can divide the discussion of organisms and their environments into two general categories: behavior and ecology.


Some animals behave in a programmed way to specific stimuli while others behave according to some type of learning. We humans can do both. For the AP Biology Exam, you’ll have to know a little about the different types of behavior.

All behavior means, basically, is how organisms cope with their environments. This chapter looks at the general types of behavior: instinct, imprinting, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and insight. Let’s start with instinct.