Animal Behaviour

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Introduction to Animal Behaviour

Behaviour is a fundamental characteristic of animals, who survive and adapt to their surroundings only by the dint of it through their interactive expressions for their basic requirements and competetions. As blessed with locomotive power, the animals use their behavioural power for various purposes of their life,  like – procuring food, selecting mates and mating with them for their descendants. So, behavioural changes in animals has been a way of their life since their origin and adaptive radiation. It is obvious, some of those changes are common to all for their survival and adaptation, but there are many which are very specific and vary animal to aninal. The study of animal behaviour has been so important to us at present that we can not think of an animal without studying its behaviour. Even the human race itself is not out of it, from the cave-man to the modern one, whom we can study properly through their behaviour. It becomes clear from the vivid Cave-arts engraved 4000 years ago that, humans alway wanted to convey some message to their descendents in any of their behavioural patterns. The term Ethology (ethos=character, habit, custom; logia=the study) has recently been coined, that pertains to a modern science dealing with animal behaviour. It was first coined by St. Hilaire in the last part of 18th century, ment as a science of habits and characteristics of animals, either instinct or acquired and their lerning capabilities or behavioural patterns; which vary time to time at different situations. So, Ethology has been defined as the study of behaviour within a zoological context and includes, Ecology, Genetics, Physiology and Psychology as well. We are indebted to Karl von Frish, Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen for developing such a section of Zoology in the very recent times, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973 in the field of  Physiology and Medicine.

Definition of Ethology

What is Behaviour

The Nature of Behaviour

What is stimulus

Physiological changes due to Emotion

Behaviour and Heredity

Types of Animal Behaviour

Modes of Behavioural Patterns

Taxis (pl. taxes)

Reflex action


Appraisal / Test / Examples of Innate Behaviour

Winter Migration of Birds

Spider Web

Parental Care in Fishes

Parental Care in Toad

Parental Care in Bird

Learning or Learned Behaviour

Types of Learning

Altruism or Cooperation to each other

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Photo Credit: Capt. Kawsar Mostafa

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