We know there are complex features which animals supposed to develop based on their genes as opposed to learning from the environment and the collective, also sometimes being very specific to certain species:

  • Concepts how to build homes
  • Animal languages including social insect interactions responsible for information transmission (or do they have to learn them through an acquisition process, let's exclude languages of ape tribes where "term" creation has been demonstrated?)

Valid answer: if already known, one or to examples to corresponding research. Constraint: we are not talking about genes responsible for some sort of tendencies in behaviour but situations where there seems to be a more or less complex "blue print".


1 Answer 1


I suppose we are yet very far from understanding these things. Relation of genotype to phenotype is teh subject of much contemporary research, but it is mainly limited to simple phenotypic features, explainable by action of a few genes, such as the colors of zebra fish mutants: see, e.g., this paper and the related publications by Nüsseln-Vollhardt group. Perhaps closer to your question is circadian rythms, which also have genetic determinants.

The complex behaviors are likely a result of the complex interactions of many genes, which are a very interesting, but also a very difficult problem to solve.


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