Ethology gets serious. Behavioural ecology replaces anecdote with analysis.

An excellent set of speakers makes this a fascinating and educational programme. The progress towards nailing down animal behaviour continues apace. The turning point was asking ‘why’ in relation to animal behaviour instead of just observing it. We have also moved away from seeing behaviour in black and white terms as either innate or learned. Not only do these developments give us a better chance of finding the truth, it is also just more interesting that way. Familiar terms such as kin altruism and the selfish gene pop up all over the programme. But it does a nice job tying them altogether. The good news is that technological advances promise increasingly granular observation and analysis. We can only expect to learn more and more in the coming years.

Link to broadcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04tljk0

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