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Study of animal behaviour. It is a combination of laboratory and field science, with strong ties to other disciplines (e.g., neuroanatomy, ecology, evolution). Though many naturalists have studied aspects of animal behaviour through the centuries, the modern science of ethology is considered to have arisen as a discrete discipline with the work in the 1920s of Nikolaas Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz. Interested in the behavioral process rather than in a particular animal group, ethologists often study one type of behaviour (e.g., aggression) in various unrelated animals.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ethology, visit Britannica.com.