Animal behaviorism--or ethology--is a branch of zoology. The word ethology derives from the Greek words ethos ("character"), and logia ("the study of").
While the behavior of animals has been studied throughout the history of science, modern ethology saw its structured and documented beginnings with the work of such naturalists as Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch.
Ethological investigation melds field and laboratory research; and benefits from contributions from such other biological disciplines as ecology, anatomy, neurology and evolution.
What do these words mean? Biophony is the melodic sound created by such organisms as frogs and birds; geophony, the composition of non-biological sounds like wind, rain and...
HerbivoreLast Updated on 2014-02-13 16:58:29A herbivore is an animal that obtains its energy and nutrients by feeding on plants. Different types of herbivores eat different plant parts. For example, folivores feed on leaves, frugivores feed on fruits, granivores feed on seeds, pollinivores feed on pollen, and nectarivores feed on nectar. Herbivores can vary greatly in size, ranging from the largest terrestrial animals (elephants) and large marine mammals such as manatees and dugongs to small insects, nematodes and thrips. Herbivores are primary consumers (they receive their energy by consuming primary producers), so they play an important trophic role in ecological communities and food webs.
Because mature leaves are low in nutrients, and difficult to digest because of their high cellulose content, animals use many different strategies to eat leaves. Animals that feed on grass leaves are generally... More »
RespirationLast Updated on 2014-01-31 16:43:42Respiration is the gas exchange effected by living organisms for the purpose of sustaining vital metabolic processes. In the case of most animals, oxygen is taken into the organism, and carbon dioxide is expelled. In the case of plants, the inverse process occurs of consuming carbon dioxide and expelling oxygen as a waste gas.
Respiration may also be viewed at a cellular level, examining gas exchange at the cell wall; for very simple organisms, such as unicellular lifeforms, the process of gas exchange with the environment is simplified, so that cellular wall gas exchange is the totality of respiration for such an organism.
In the case of some bacteria and archaea, respiration sometimes occurs without any oxygen, and alternative molecular gases such as hydrogen sulfide or methane may participate in respiration and subsequent cellular metabolic reactions. Often such organisms are... More »
Emperor penguinLast Updated on 2014-01-16 15:03:05The Emperor penguin (scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins, and with the King penguin forms the genus Aptenodytes or "Great penguins".
Class:------ Aves (Birds)
Family:-------- Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Genus:--------- Aptenodytes (Great Penguins)
Species:--------- Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844
Like all penguins, the Emperor penguin is characterized by its erect posture, stiff wings, excellent swimming ability, awkward movement out of water, and coloring. The black back and white front, make penguins difficult to... More »
Desert birdsLast Updated on 2013-10-29 21:52:31Deserts are challenging environments. Any organism that makes the desert its home must be able to cope with extreme temperatures and a scarce supply of water. Birds have the obvious advantage of flight which allows many of them to be only temporary visitors stopping off along their migrations, or seasonal inhabitants sticking around to breed during the more favorable seasons and leaving when things get too rough. There are a limited number of bird species that can truly call themselves desert dwellers, living primarily or only in such arid environments and not migrating. These birds possess some fascinating adaptations for dealing with life in the desert. (see: Adaptations of desert birds and mammals)
Organisms living in desert environments face several challenges including (1) obtaining and retaining water, (2) regulating their body temperature, and (3) obtaining and conserving... More »
Bornean Clouded LeopardLast Updated on 2013-09-30 23:00:04The Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), or Sundaland clouded leopard, is a medium-sized wildcat found on Borneo, Sumatra and the Batu Islands in the Malay Archipelago Its coat is marked with irregularly-shaped, dark-edged ovals which are said to be shaped like clouds, hence its common name. Though scientists have known of its existence since the early 19th century, it was positively identified as being a distinct species in its own right in 2006, having long been believed to be a subspecies of the mainland Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). WWF quoted Dr. Stephen O'Brien of the U.S. National Cancer Institute as saying, "Genetic research results clearly indicate that the clouded leopard of Borneo should be considered a separate species".
Conservation... More »
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