What is Animal Behavior?

What is Animal Behavior?

Animal behavior is the scientific study of everything animals do, whether the animals are single-celled organisms, insects, birds, mammals, fish, or humans. The field of animal behavior is concerned with understanding the causes, functions, development, and evolution of behavior.

The causes of behavior include all of the stimuli that affect behavior, whether external (food or predators) or internal (hormones or nervous system changes).

The function of behavior include both the immediate effects of behavior on an animal (such as attracting a mate), and the adaptive significance of the behavior in a particular environment (such as huddling together in cold weather).

The development of behavior is concerned with the ways in which behavior changes over the lifetime of an animal.

The evolution of behavior is concerned with origins of behavior patterns and how these change over generations of animals.