Ethology is the study of animal behavior. This zoological branch of biology was established in 1854 by the naturalist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. At the theoretical level, ethology can be likened to the biology of animal behavior and especially the biology of intraspecific interaction.
Scientists such as Charles Darwin, Oskar August Heinroth, Jean-Henri Fabre, Charles Otis Whitman, Jakob von Uexküll marked precociously this vast field of study.
The recent evolution of this biological discipline is marked by long-term scientific studies of animal behavior, including the three most notorious were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973. It was the especially work created in the second third of the twentieth century by the Austrian Karl von Frisch (1886-1982), Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989), and the Dutch Nikolaas Tinbergen (1907-1988).
The term ethology etymologically means “study of morals.” The first contributions that can be paid to the heritage of this science dates from the seventeenth century. The name was first used by the French Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805-1861) in 1854.
This domain under the generic name above includes the study of animal behavior, as it can be observed in the wild animal in the wild, in the wild animal in captivity, in domestic animals in the wild and in the domestic animal in captivity. The basic principle of ethology is to use a biological perspective to explain the behavior, this science is also called “behavioral biology.”
Behavioral patterns provide data equally crucial for taxonomic studies of zoology such as anatomical details or physiological characters. They are also likely to explain speciation and ecological pressure.
In the scope of this discipline have emerged or are used constructivist ethology, computational ethology, behavioral ethology. One must not, however, to confuse ethologist with behavioral or learning specialist. The latter relies on behavioral doctrines, represented by many other schools that have marked the beginning of the twentieth century.
The starting point of Konrad Lorenz is to conduct a comparative anatomical study of animal behavior (which was unusual), as it was at the same time a study of morphological characters. It became apparent that there are motor behaviors (e.g., movements parades), the similarities or differences from one species to another are presented in exactly the same way as morphological characters, despite the environmental differences or effects of life in captivity. According to Konrad Lorenz, these motor behaviors are specific characteristics of a species and their similarities or differences cannot be explained otherwise than by descent from a common ancestral form.
It therefore concludes that certain behaviors are included in the genome of animals, they are instinctive, and even if the animal is able to pursue a certain goal by a suitable and variable behavior (usually survival), this has nothing to do with teleonomic meaning as conceived by the finalists.
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