18 June 2012
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR -- BIOL 278
R. H. Wiley
This course provides an introduction to the biological study of animal behavior, including the current questions, methods, and results. It also illustrates behavioral adaptations in a variety of animals, vertebrate and invertebrate.
It provides preparation for more advanced courses in the biological study of animal behavior (Neuroethology, Animal Societies and Communication, Behavioral Ecology) and complements other courses on organismal biology of animals (Vertebrate Field Zoology, Avian Biology, Invertebrate Biology, Comparative Physiology).
There is no regular textbook for this course. Lecture outlines with all the important terms, concepts, and examples will be available on this web site!
Instead of a textbook, a new book by a prominent scientist will be required reading:
The Social Conquest of Earth by E. O. Wilson (available in Student Stores).
The author, who has made important contributions to our understanding of animal behavior and evolution, has received Pulitzer Prizes for two of his previous books (and was a controversial, recent, UNC graduation speaker). The required reading is intended for a wide audience and (although published just a few months ago) is already highly controversial! Our goal is to understand why this book is important and why it is controversial.
Five short exams on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Each will last 30 minutes and consist of three brief (10-minute) essays on one section of the course. Each question will ask for an explanation or example of a principle of animal behavior. Each exam will count 30 points. Exams IV and V will include questions about the required reading.