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Meaning: ethos ‒ “custom, habit”; logos ‒ “the study of”

Focus of Ethology: the study of animal behaviour

Early Studies: Prehistory ‒ human existence depended on animals; if people wanted to be successful hunters, they had to be aware of peculiarities in animal behaviour.  The acquired knowledge allowed early humans to develop domestication later on.

Ethology, a subfield of Zoology, studies animal behaviour under natural conditions. It deals with behavioural patterns of individual species; types of behaviour, their process and patterns. Causes of animal behaviour are analyzed on the basis of their observation and description. Ethology is a relatively young discipline of Biology.  The main credit for the development of Ethology goes to the Austrian biologist Konrad Lorenz and his students who gave the name to the discipline and made a number of fundamental discoveries in Ethology.

Under the subpage “Ethology”, there can also be found “Systematics and characterization of species” since these topics are closely related. Individual chapters can be found in the submenu under “Ethology”. Animal behaviour is a complex phenomenon that is phylogenetically (heredity) and ontogenetically (experience) conditioned and is also subjected to environmental conditions.

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