This course will cover the adaptive (evolved) behaviours of organisms that result from interactions with the biological environment. We ask why animals behave in a particular way, i.e. how does their behaviour enhance success in survival or reproduction? Examples involve adaptive strategies in competing with rivals, choosing mates, and avoiding parasites. We also ask how adaptive behaviour is controlled; what are the genetic, developmental, and physiological mechanisms underlying behaviour? Assignments involve observing and analyzing (suggesting alternative explanations/ hypotheses) for behaviour, followed by a use of these skills to critique a published scientific paper. No laboratory or field work is included.
Note: This is a half-credit (0.5) course that is offered over the full academic year.