The behaviour of animals continue to fascinate us, perhaps because we can recognise many of the behaviours from ourselves. The study of animal behaviour, less than 100 years old as a scientific discipline, has demonstrated that behaviours, similar to anatomy and physiology, have been shaped by evolution. However, at the same time many behaviours show an astounding flexibility that allow individuals to learn and adapt throughout their life.
Thus the study of animal behaviour is not only shedding light on the range of fascinating behaviours found in nature, but it also increases our understanding of our animal companions and ultimately of ourselves. In this course, you will get examples of a wide range of behaviours, while at the same time getting a comprehensive introduction to evolutionary thinking. During the course we wil be using examples from a broad range of animal groups ranging from social behaviours in ants to tool use in crows and chimpanzees through animal personalities and attention in dogs.
You will discover how these behaviours are shaped by evolution and linked throughout the various animal groups. Via brief lectures, discussions and your own mini-project, you will learn how to analyse and understand the behaviours you can observe in the animals surrounding you.