Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim is to provide the bases of animal behaviour knowledges, from hystorical
researches of European ethologists and American behaviorists to recent studies
throught an evolutionary approach.
Course contents summary
The course aims to give the student the basis of the study of animal behaviour from the analysis of basic knowledge to modern evolutive approach with particular attention to some research topics as communication, sociality and sociobiological theories.
1) The Behaviorism and the European Ethololgy
2) Aims, Methods and main topics of ethology
3) An evolutionary approach to animal behaviour
4) Reflexes and the complex behaviour
5) Behaviour and stimuli
6) Instincts and Learning
7) Genes and Behaviour
8) The Evolution of Behaviour
9) Learning: individual and social learning; Imprinting and Imprinting-like
10) Play and Tool Use
12) Motivational Conflict
13) Animal Communication
14) Aggressive Behaviour and Territoriality
15) Reproductive Behaviour and Parental Care
16) The Ecology of Social Behaviour
18) Feeding Behaviour
19) Predatory and Antipredatory Behaviour
20) Animal Orientation
22) Pathological Behaviour
Alcock J.: "Etologia - Un approccio evolutivo" Ed.: Zanichelli, 2007.
Krebs J.R. e Davies N.B.: "Ecologia e comportamento animale" Ed.: Bollati
Boringhieri, 2002. Manning A., Dawkins M.S.: "Il comportamento animale" Ed.:
Campan R., Scapini F.: "Etologia" Ed. Zanichelli, 2005.
Sovrano V.A., Zucca P. e Regolin L., "Il Comportamento degli Animali", Ed. Carocci, 2012
Frontal and practical lessons with audio/video support material to examin specific examples
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral test consisting of three open questions to verify the theoric knowledge, the ability of its application and to make links among the spefic topics by the student.