BHE-20303 Animal Behaviour


Credits 3.00

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

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

MSc courses BHE-30306 (Behavioural Ecology), BHE-31306 (Animal Welfare), BHE50306 (Life history Evolution)


This course introduces students to the field of Animal Behaviour, considering the four questions of Tinbergen, i.e. causation, development, function, and evolution of behaviour. Students also learn about methods in Animal Behaviour, and apply this knowledge during a practical. The course will provide students with important basic tools, knowledge, and experience for studying animal behaviour. Finally, students are instructed in best practices in science, and in scientific writing. As part of the course students write a scientific paper in English in the style of a scientific publication using data collected and analysed 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;
- apply behavioural and evolutionary thinking to interpret data, and to report scientific findings in animal behaviour;
- define behaviours, and analyse the evolutionary process of different behaviours;
- comprehend the theoretical framework of the evolutionary and mechanistic approach in Animal Behaviour;
-design and conduct research in Animal Behaviour;
- apply the best practices of scientific writing in English in Animal Behaviour.


- lectures on theories and research in animal behaviour;
- scientific writing;
- practical in which methods in animal behaviour are presented, discussed, and applied. Students receive feedback during the process.


- computer-based test;
- individual scientific paper & practical.


Breed, M. D., & Moore, J. (2015). Animal behavior. Academic Press. Note: The WUR library have ebook copies for WUR students.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc5AF
BASAnimal SciencesBSc6MO