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Animal Behavior

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.

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Recently Updated
Orca Last Updated on 2014-04-16 15:11:43 Orcinus orca, or simply orca, is in fact the largest of the dolphins within the order of cetaceans. This species of marine mammal, also commonly known as the killer whale, is easily identified by its black and white coloration; the underside is white with white patches behind the eyes and a greyish white area called a saddle-patch behind the dorsal fin. The shape of the saddle is unique in each animal, and can help to identify individuals. The dorsal fin is also used to recognize individuals. Male orcas have the tallest dorsal fin known in the animal kingdom, measuring up to six feet high in mature males.  Females have shorter, more curved dorsal fins.  Conservation Status:  Data Deficient Scientific Classification Kingdom: Anamalia (Animals) Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Mammalia... More »
Coral reef fish feeding behavior in the Caribbean Last Updated on 2014-04-02 14:51:20 Fishes living in the Caribbean Sea rely on a variety of food sources including plants, plankton, invertebrates, and other fishes. Fishes can feed either on the reef or off of the reef in the sandy bottoms or sea grass beds. Fishes can feed either diurnally (during the day) or nocturnally (at night). Their diet and mode of feeding strongly influences their morphology. Moreover, their foraging strategy should affect their susceptibility to predators and thus influence their anti-predator mechanisms. Only 10 – 25% of species on a Caribbean reef fishes are herbivores. Although there are relatively few herbivorous fish species, these species tend to have relatively large population sizes such that the total biomass of herbivores is high. Herbivorous fishes are most common in shallow water which is not surprising because light levels are higher in shallow water which promotes... More »
Herbivore Last Updated on 2014-02-13 16:58:29 A 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 »
Respiration Last Updated on 2014-01-31 16:43:42 Respiration 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 penguin Last Updated on 2014-01-16 15:03:05 The 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".     Conservation Status   Scientific Classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Aves (Birds) Order:-------- Sphenisciformes 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 »