How climate change affects animal behavior

Humans are shaping environments at an accelerating rate. Indeed, one of the most important current topics of research is the capacity of animals to adapt to human-induced environmental change and how that change affects the ...

Chimps learn 'handshakes' according to social group: study

Chimpanzees develop specific handshake-like gestures depending on their social group, according to the results of a 12-year observational study published on Wednesday that sheds light on the animals' complex social structures.

Palm oil plantations change the social behavior of macaques

Due to the extensive clearing of their habitat, these primates sometimes turn to palm oil monocultures while foraging. This often leads to conflicts with farmers. The macaques do not damage the palm oil fruits to any great ...

Safety signs help little penguin colony

Thanks to Flinders University researchers collaborating with the Department of Environment & Water and Green Adelaide, the creation of the new signs that identifies intrusive human interactions provides timely support for ...

Scientists monitor meerkats' response to returning zoo visitors

Experts in animal behavior at Nottingham Trent University, Harper Adams University and Twycross Zoo studied the behavior of meerkats at several zoos both during lockdown when there were suddenly no visitors, and then again ...

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Ethology

Ethology (from Greek: ἦθος, ethos, "character"; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology (not to be confused with ethnology, which compares and contrasts different human cultures).

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. 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 and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been modified, as have new fields such as neuroethology.

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