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English: Ethology (from Greek: ήθος, ethos, "character"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a branch of zoology (not to be confused with ethnology).

Although many naturalists have studied aspects of animal behavior through the centuries, the modern discipline of ethology is usually considered to have arisen with the work in the 1960s of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and Austrian biologist Konrad Lorenz, joint winners of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Biology. Ethology is a combination of laboratory and field science, with strong ties to certain other disciplines — e.g., neuroanatomy, ecology, evolution. Ethologists are typically interested in a behavioral process rather than in a particular animal group and often study one type of behavior (e.g., aggression) in a number of unrelated animals.

The desire to understand the animal world has made ethology a rapidly growing field, and since the turn of the 21st century, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as animal communication, personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized, as have new fields such as neuroethology.


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