BIOL 472

Animal Behavior

This course provides a survey of key concepts, theories and models in the field of Animal Behavior, integrating behavioral analyses into an explicitly evolutionary framework. Students discuss behaviors important to reproduction, such as selecting mates, and those important to survival, such as finding food and avoiding predators. For each of these contexts, students ask both 'proximate' and 'ultimate' questions. Proximate questions concern the mechanistic causes of behavior, including the genetic, hormonal, neural and environmental influences on the development and expression of behavior. Ultimate questions of behavior concern how behavior is shaped and constrained by ecology and evolutionary history. Students actively discuss modern theory, engage in observational and experimental study, and develop an innovative research proposal.

Prerequisites: BIOL 111, 112, 211 and permission of the instructor.