BHE-20303 Animal Behaviour


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)FC Ribeiro da Cunha
Lecturer(s)SA Kingma
dr. A Kotrschal
FC Ribeiro da Cunha
prof. dr. M Naguib
Examiner(s)prof. dr. M Naguib

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

MSc courses BHE-30306 (Behavioural Ecology) and BHE-31306 (Animal Welfare)


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 practical. The course will provide students with important basic tools, knowledge, and experience for studying animal behaviour. Finally, students are instructed in scientific writing and will write a report in English in the style of a scientific publication using data collected during the practical.

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.


- computer-based test with multiple choice questions (70%).
- individual report and practical (30%).


Animal Behaviour – Dustin Rubenstein & John Alcock – 11th edition. Oxford university Press.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc5AF
BASAnimal SciencesBSc6MO