This course will explore the main theoretical ideas and methods of the scientific study of animal behavior. It is the second of a two-course sequence, although students who did not take the first semester are welcome to enroll (they will be expected to do some extra reading in preparation). We will continue to explore the functional and evolutionary bases of animal behavior, including altruism, social behavior, reproductive behavior, mating systems, parental care, the influence of neural systems on behavior, and animal cognition. Students will also continue to put into practice some of the ways that scientists observe, record and measure behavior in the natural world. The main reading and discussion material for the course will be drawn from John Alcock's textbook, Animal Behavior, supplemented by journal articles from the scientific literature. Assignments include weekly answers to discussion questions and a full-length term paper and oral presentation on a topic related to pig behavior, using the pigs at the farm as our study animals. Each student will present to the class two brief summary/critiques (5-10 mins) of scientific papers, with at least one pertaining to pig behavior.
- Teacher: Laela Sayigh