Leader: Dr Alan Lill
Clayton Second semester 2006 (Day)
Synopsis: This unit examines how genetic and environmental effects (physical and social) underlie behavioural variation in animals and how the evolution, neural and hormonal regulation and development of such variation can be studied. It examines how the foraging, predatory, reproductive and social behaviour of animals promotes their survival and gene replication in the environments in which they have evolved. Animal communication is discussed in terms of the mechanisms used, the optimisation of information transfer and the evolution of signalling strategies.
Objectives: On completion of this unit, students will have an understanding and appreciation of selected aspects of animal behaviour. In particular, they will gain an understanding of how environmental and social factors can influence behaviour during development. They will also gain insights into the many ways in which animal behaviour is adaptive in that it promotes survival and successful reproduction. Students will learn how to design, carry out and analyse the results obtained from a study of animal behaviour; they will acquire experience in communicating their findings orally and in writing.
Assessment: Examination (2.5 hours): 50% + Project Report: 35% + Group project seminar: 15%
Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and 3 hours practical work per week
Prerequisites: 12 points from level 2 BIO units