Exploring Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field

An Hypothesis-testing Approach to the Development, Causation, Function, and Evolution of Animal Behavior


  • Bonnie Ploger, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.
  • Ken Yasukawa, Beloit College, WI, U.S.A.

Exploring Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field is designed to provide a variety of exercises that engage students actively in all phases of scientific investigation, from formulating research questions through interpreting and presenting final results. It attempts to share the collective teaching expertise and experience of members of the Animal Behavior Society with all who are willing to benefit from their wisdom. Four types of exercises are presented: (1) traditional exercises in which students follow a pre-determined protocol to test particular hypotheses explicitly stated in the exercise, (2) traditional exercises that can easily be adapted to inquiry-based approaches, (3) combined pedagogy exercises that involve both traditional and inquiry approaches, and (4) inquiry exercises in which students first brainstorm to generate their own hypotheses, then design their own experiements to test their hypotheses.
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Students in Animal Behavior and Behavioral Ecology. The readership of Animal Behaviour is an important audience and includes over 5000 subscribers.


Book information

  • Published: October 2002
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-558330-5

Table of Contents

CONTRIBUTORSPREFACEPART 1. INTRODUCTIONPART 2. DESCRIBING BEHAVIOR1. Learning to describe and quantify animal behaviorB.J. Ploger2. Developing operational definitions and measuring interobserver reliability using house crickets (Acheta domesticus)T. GloverPART 3. CAUSATION3. Courtship, mating, and sex pheromones in the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitorE. Font and E. Desfilis4. Courtship and mate attraction in parasitic waspsR.W. Matthews and J.R. Matthews5. Chemoreception in lizardsC. O'Neil Krekorian6. Behavioral thermoregulation in field populations of amphibian larvaeH.H. Whiteman and N. Buschhaus7. Temperature dependence of the electric organ discharge in weakly electric fishG.K.H. Zupanc, J.R. Banks, G. Engler and R.C. Beason8. Observing and analyzing human nonverbal communicationP.L. Bernstein9. Foraging behavior of ants, or picnics: an ant's eye viewS.L. Halkin10. Hummingbird foraging patterns: experiments using artificial flowersA. Inman11. Honey bee foraging behaviorM.R. Richter and J.M. Keramaty12. Individual constancy to color by foraging honeybeesP.S.M. Hill and H. WellsPART 4. DEVELOPMENT13. Dog training laboratory: applied animal behaviorL.L. Gillie and G.H. Waring14. Paternal care and its effect on maternal behavior and pup survival and development in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)B. McGuire15. The effect of prenatal visual stimulation on the imprinting responses of domestic chicks: an examination of sensitive periods during developmentW.L. Hill16. Development of thermoregulation in altricial rodentsG.R. Michener and T.D. Charge17. Aggregation and kin recognition in African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevisK.L. Anderson and B.J. Ploger PART 5. ADAPTATION AND EVOLUTIONSection I: Foraging18. Diving birds: a field study of benthic and piscivorous foragersJ.J. Templeton & D.J. Mountjoy19. Found a peanut: foraging decisions by squirrelsS.L. Halkin20. Economic decisions and foraging tradeoffs in chickadeesR.L. Mumme21. Seed selection by foraging birdsM.R. Richter, J.A. Halstead and K. Savastano22. Competitive behavior of birds at feedersA. MostromSection II: Avoiding Predators23. Vigilance and the group-size effect: observing behavior in humansJ.E. Scheib, L.E. Cody, N.S. Clayton and R.D. Montgomerie24. The function of "chat" calls in northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos): vocal defense of nestlingsC.A. Logan25. Diving and skating in whirligig beetles: alternative antipredator responsesA. Inman and A. Houtman26. The response of tree squirrels to conspecific and heterospecific alarm callsA. HoutmanSection III: Agonistic Behavior27. Competition for breeding resources by burying beetlesM.P. Scott28. Learning to be winners and losers: agonistic behavior in crayfishE.M. Jakkob and C.D. HoeflerSection IV: Courtship and Parental Care29. Costs and benefits of maternal care in earwigsR.L. Mumme, J.O. Palmer and S.M. Ranking30. Vocal behavior and mating tactics of the spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer): a field exercise in animal behaviorD.C. Forester31. The role of multiple male characters in mate choice by female guppies (Poecilia reticulata)D.J. Albrecht32. Investigating human mate choice using the want adsM. CroweSection V: Games33. Demonstrating strategies for solving the prisoner's dilemmaK.N. Morgan34. Using empirical games to teach animal behaviorP.K. StoddardSection VI: Evolution35. The evolution of behavior: a phylogenetic approachK. YasukawaAPPENDICESA. Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioral research and teachingAnimal Behavior Society and the Association for the Study of Animal BehaviorB. Ethical use of human subjectsAmerican Psychological AssociationC. Introduction to statisticsB.J. Ploger and K. Yasukaw