9.201 | Spring 2000 | Graduate

Advanced Animal Behavior


1 Introduction. Organization, Readings, Projects. Approaches to the Study of Animals and Their Behavior.
2 Classics; Key Concepts in Ethology.
3 Key Concepts in Sociobiology.
4 Key Concepts in Learning.
5 Habitat Selection. Nest Site Selection; Territoriality; Dispersal; Migration.
6 Feeding. Foraging or Stalking; Prey Capture; Storage/Hoarding; Consummation. Tool Use. Cooperation among Conspecifics.
7 Antipredator Behavior. Detection; Tricking the Predator; Defenses – Individual, Social; Other Adaptations.
8 Sexuality. Dimorphisms in Body and Behavior; Social Organization, Dominance Structures; Evolution of Sexual Signals, Emancipation from Original Uses.
9 Mating and Reproduction. Pair Bonding Varieties and Advantages; Brood Tending and Its Evolution; Similarities of Emancipated Actions Across Widely Different Species.
10 Maintenance Functions (Other than Feeding and Predator Avoidance). Elimination; Temperature Regulation; Grooming, Cleaning of Body and Nest, and Evolution/Emancipation of these Actions for Social Uses; Reactions to Illness and Injury; Sleeping and Activity Cycles; Nesting re Other Functions, Adaptations.
11 Flies and Other Insects.
12 Rodents and Lagomorphs. Social vs. Solitary; Specialized vs. Generalized/Non-specialized.
13 Cats and Other Large Predators; Ferrets.
14 Vegetarian Foragers: Ungulates; Most Cetaceans.
15 Primates: Monkeys.
16 Primates: Apes.
17 Human Ethology.
18 Cognitive Ethology/Comparative Cognition.
19 Wild Animals in Captivity. Animals in Cages re Natural Adaptations, cf. Humans in Crowded Conditions. Animal Rights. Religious Views of Animals. Conservation Efforts that Succeed or Go Awry.
20 Behavioral Pharmacology and Toxicology. Behavioral Pathologies in Laboratory and in the Wild.
21 Project Reports.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2000
Learning Resource Types
Presentation Assignments
Activity Assignments
Written Assignments