Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course, the student will be provided by the bases of animal behaviour knowledges, from hystorical researches of European ethologists and American behaviorists to recent studies throught an evolutionary approach. Thanks to this knowledge, the student will be provided by a usefull tool to evaluate, interprete and analyse the mechanisms of animal behaviour both in natural and laboratory research contexts. Moreover, this knowledge will allow the student to take on the study of more specialised ethological topics as Ethoecology, Sociobiology and Applied Ethology
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
The didactic material uploaded on-line on the Elly Portal
Frontal and practical lessons supported by seminars and with audio/video material to examin specific examples. Didactic materials (slides, papers nad other files) utilised during the lessons will be upload on Elly Portal before the beginning of the course.
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. In order to pass the exam, the student need to reach a sufficient valutation in each of the three questions. The result is communicated directly at the end of the evaluation. The on-line registration to attend the exam is mandatory.