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Ethology

Ethology is the study of the behavior of animals, including humans, in their natural environment. A recent approach, initiated by Donald R. Griffin in the 1970s, emphasizes the animals’ mental experiences. Studies may focus on any part of the life span, such as development of the young and parental behavior, attachment, social behavior, mating, and social structure; general capacities such as sensory abilities, learning, and communication; and activities such as finding and preparing food, navigation, cooperation, aggression, and defense. Ethology is concerned with the mechanisms underlying behavior and can include aspects of neurobiology and behavioral ecology. Data were derived from both observing behavior in the field and experiments in the field and laboratory. The roots of ethology lie with Charles Darwin’s evolutionary approach to behavior. ...

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