BHE-20303 Animal Behaviour


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. M Naguib
Lecturer(s)ir. JH Postema
dr. CA Hinde
prof. dr. M Naguib
Examiner(s)prof. dr. M Naguib

Language of instruction:



This course provides an introduction to Animal Behaviour. The course will focus on the 4 questions of Tinbergen, i.e. causation, development, function and evolution of behaviour. What are the behavioural mechanisms and the evolutionary consequences of their actions? The course also covers methods and experimental designs and students apply some during a tutorial. It will provide students with important tools, knowledge and experience for studying animal behaviour. Finally, students are instructed how to report scientific content in a structured logical way, and scientific writing about a behavioural topic is put into practice during the course.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- discuss and analyse principles of behaviour;
- define, apply and distinguish the 4 questions of Tinbergen;
- generate questions and hypotheses in behaviour and apply knowledge to formulate alternative answers;
- apply rules of designing behavioural experiments, apply and assess observational methods;
- apply skills by creating a scientific report in the format of a publication (in English);
- report scientific content in a structured way following a logical line of reasoning.


Lectures, introduction to experimental and observational methods used in animal behaviour, apply methods, report writing.


- written test with closed (like multiple choice) or open questions (70%);
- individual report (20%);
- practical (10%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Animal Behavior: Concepts, Methods, and Applications
Shawn Nordell and Thomas Valone
368 pages, 279x216mm
Book link:

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc5AF
BASAnimal SciencesBScA: Terrestrial Animals6MO
Compulsory for: WUAFSBSc Minor Animal Production and Health6MO