Acerca de este Curso
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Many of us derive inspiration from watching natural history documentaries and their astounding catalogue of wild animal behaviours.  In this course, we will explore how scientists study animal behaviour, and in particular how behaviour is shaped by the evolutionary forces of natural and sexual selection. Topics include resource acquisition; avoiding enemies; mate choice and sexual conflict; cues, signals and communication; parental care and social behaviour; and the role of genes, environments and learning in regulating behavioural diversity.  We draw on examples from across the animal kingdom to illustrate the complex mechanisms underlying adaptations, and complement these with natural history videos that highlight key concepts. We evaluate the scientific rigour of studies used to test theory, and highlight the often ingenious methods adopted by researchers to understand animal behaviour. This course will help you understand the remarkable behaviours of wild animals from an evolutionary perspective.  [Image: Peacock spider. Photo by Jürgen Otto, Manakin bird footage (Ex-Riddle of the Sexes) reproduced with permission, courtesy of BBC Worldwide Ltd]...
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English

Subtítulos: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian
Globe

Cursos 100 % en línea

Comienza de inmediato y aprende a tu propio ritmo.
Calendar

Fechas límite flexibles

Restablece las fechas límite en función de tus horarios.
Comment Dots

English

Subtítulos: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian

Programa - Qué aprenderás en este curso

1

Sección
Clock
3 horas para completar

Introduction to animal behaviour

In week one of the course, we will introduce the topic of animal behaviour from an evolutionary perspective and explain the importance of asking the right questions about what, how or why animals are behaving. You will learn how to differentiate between proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour and discover some of the methods researchers employ to answer questions about behaviour scientifically. These lectures will form the foundation for topics to come in the later weeks, so please take the time to watch them. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total: 62 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
2. Asking the right questions13m
3. Correlation, experimentation and comparison14m
4. Tools for studying behaviour15m
5. Natural selection and behavioural adaptations14m
Reading3 lecturas
Start of course survey10m
Week one outline5m
Week one resourcesm
Quiz1 ejercicio de práctica
Week one quiz - practice20m

2

Sección
Clock
2 horas para completar

Genes, environments and learning

In week two of the course, we explore the developmental basis of behaviour, focussing on the roles that genes and the environment play in shaping behaviour. Because all behaviours are the product of interactions between genes and the environment, the oft-used term "Nature or Nurture" is unhelpful - there is no such thing as a behaviour that is purely genetically or environmentally determined. The interplay between variable genes and a variable environment helps explain behavioural variation: depending on how and when they interact, different outcomes are possible. Learning provides animals with a mechanism to adjust behaviour adaptively based on experience...
Reading
3 videos (Total: 46 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
2. How do genetic and environmental influences shape behaviour?18m
3. Learning behaviour17m
Reading2 lecturas
Week two outline10m
Week two resourcesm
Quiz1 ejercicio de práctica
Week 2 quiz - graded20m

3

Sección
Clock
3 horas para completar

Finding food and avoiding predators

Week three of the course will look at factors that influence how individuals make decisions as they go about their day to day lives, particularly around finding food and avoiding predators. We will introduce the use of mathematical models for predicting how animals will behave under certain circumstances. We also consider how interactions between predators and prey can lead to co-evolutionary 'arms races'....
Reading
6 videos (Total: 93 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
2. Foraging and optimality11m
3. Resource Competition22m
4. Animal contests & game theory19m
5. Anti-predator behaviour12m
6. Predators vs prey: evolutionary arms races14m
Reading2 lecturas
Week three outline10m
Week three resourcesm
Quiz1 ejercicio de práctica
Week three quiz - graded20m

4

Sección
Clock
3 horas para completar

Communication

This week, we consider the topic of animal communication. We explore some of the different modalities (visual, auditory, olfactory, electrosensory and tactile) animals use to communicate with each other, and the abiotic (structural) and biotic (predators, parasites) challenges animals face in transmitting their signals. We discuss the difference between signals and cues, and reflect on under what circumstances natural selection might favour signals that are honest or deceptive....
Reading
5 videos (Total: 69 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
2. Communication and signal design16m
3. Signal reliability - what keeps signals honest?13m
4. Deceptive signals: mimicry and sensory exploitation13m
5. Eavesdropping13m
Reading2 lecturas
Week four outline10m
Week four resourcesm
Quiz1 ejercicio de práctica
Week four quiz - graded20m

Instructores

Raoul Mulder

Associate Professor

Mark Elgar

Professor of Evolutionary Biology
Department of Zoology

Acerca de The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is an internationally recognised research intensive University with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement. Established in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest University....

Preguntas Frecuentes

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • No. The course deals with wild animals in their natural environment.

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