Module title: Advances in Animal Behaviour

SCQF level: 10:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV10109
Module leader: Alison Craig
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science

SCQF Level 7 or 8 credits awarded for the study of animal behaviour from an evolutionary perspective.

Description of module content:

In this module you will learn about how ecological and cognitive factors combine to influence animal behaviour. You will consider a variety of species including cetaceans (e.g. bottlenose dolphins), primates (e.g. chimpanzees) and birds (e.g. parrots). We will discuss not only well-established scientific findings but also emerging evidence and current areas of controversy.
Evolution of intelligence & cognition, social behaviour and inclusive fitness, social learning and cultural traditions, communication, reproductive strategies, tool use and understanding of causality, reasoning, self-awareness, conservation applications, the scientific method as applied to the study of animals including experimental and observational studies in both captive and natural environments. Recommended reading will include not only chapters from the recommended scientific textbooks but also a variety of peer-reviewed scientific articles from journals such as Animal Behaviour, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Behavioural Ecology, Nature, Science and Animal Cognition. While classic studies will be included, there will be an emphasis on recent research.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Critically evaluate published studies of both captive and free-ranging animals.
LO2: Appraise the evidence for various explanations of animal behaviour.
LO3: Derive adaptive explanations for behaviours exhibited by animals.
LO4: Prioritise the scientific principle of parsimony when interpreting animal behaviour.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

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