Getting dust mites to leave homes on their own

House dust mites, nearly microscopic creatures that inhabit every crevice of our lives and make us sneeze, have long been assumed to be solitary in behavior. Now new research has shown that they are actually quite social.

Landlubber fish leap for love when tide is right

One of the world's strangest animals – a unique fish that lives on land and can leap large distances despite having no legs – has a rich and complex social life, a new study has found.

Better looking birds have more help at home with their chicks

In choosing a mate both males and females rely on visual cues to determine which potential partner will supply the best genes, best nesting site, best territory, and best parenting skills. New research published in BioMed ...

Schooling fish: Wild zebrafish assess risk through social learning

Sarah Zala and Dustin Penn from the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna investigated whether zebrafish use social learning to assess risk. They found that wild zebrafish, which ...

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Ethology

Ethology (from Greek: ἦθος, ethos, "character"; and -λογία, -logia, "the study of") 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 during the 1930s with the work of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and Austrian biologists Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch, joint winners of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ethology is a combination of laboratory and field science, with a strong relation to certain other disciplines such as neuroanatomy, ecology, and evolution. Ethologists are typically interested 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 field. Since the turn of the 21st century, many aspects of animal communication, personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture, learning, and even sexual conduct that experts long thought they understood, have been reexamined, and new conclusions reached. New fields have developed, such as neuroethology.

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