Animal Behavior

We can concentrate on stupid human tricks only so long and then we need to ground ourselves again in the real world.

Ethology (from Greek: ἦθος, ethos, “character”; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology.

Although many naturalists have studied aspects of animal behavior throughout history, the modern discipline of ethology is generally considered to have begun with the work during the 1930s of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and Austrian biologist Konrad Lorenz, joint winners of the 1973 Nobel Prize in medicine.[1] Ethology is a combination of laboratory and field science, with a strong relation to certain other disciplines — e.g., neuroanatomy, ecology, evolution. Ethologists are interested typically in a behavioral process rather than in a particular animal group and often study one type of behavior (e.g. aggression) in a number of unrelated animals.

The desire to understand animals has made ethology a rapidly growing topic, and since the turn of the 21st century, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as animal communication, personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture, learning, and even sexual conduct long thought to be well understood, have been modified, as have new fields such as neuroethology. [Source: Wikipedia]

Female Choice

Example: the Peacock tail. “”mate choice” (usually female choice of male mates).” The theory being that the female invests more in producing offspring so therefore she selects the males. Darwin “discovered” mate choice and then the theory was lost until late in the last century when it was rediscovered and a whole new area of Animal Behavior Research was launched.

Animal Behavior and Psychology.

Ethology is also taught in some University Psychology Department. So the Wikipedia definition was probably written by Zoologists.

Human Instinct

Well, yes, humans are animals and we have various innate instincts. B.F. Skinner’s theory held that humans at birth were “blank slates” — the Skinner dogma nearly made Psychology an extinct field of research and study. Individual Differences in Behavior research and temperament traits identified in newborns strongly contradict Skinner’s dogma.

Google: human instinctive behavior, for some interesting reading.

Interesting bits and pieces

Dog survives after being snatched by dog

Sadie the Pomeranian is happy to be home after escaping the clutches of an owl that was planning to have her for dinner. (Dec. 15)


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