Animal Behavior

animal behavior

Our Animal Behavior FIG draws connections between the biological approach to studying the evolution, development and mechanisms of animal behavior with the anthropological focus on primates and understanding the evolution of human social behavior and intelligence. Animal observation and learning methods of data collection are central elements in behavioral science classes. College Connections is a time to engage with both Dr. White and Isabella about the topics you are learning in class, as well as concerns you have about your academic career in general. 

Deep-Dive FIG: Please note this FIG attends multiple mandatory field trips. This course has been vetted by First Year Programs to ensure first-term students can achieve success.


Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package*:

*Courses in the FIG package may be subject to change

ANTH 199 College Connections - FIG Seminar, 1-credit

This College Connections seminar is scheduled as remote, but will likely have in-person components in fall.

ANTH 171 Introduction to Monkeys and Apes - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This course examines our closest relatives, the Primates (prosimians, monkeys and apes) in an evolutionary context. Humans are more closely related to nonhuman primates than they are to any other group of animals. We share in common with them an array of important adaptive features such as high intelligence, complex communication systems, diverse feeding adaptations and diets, and a reliance on social groups. Understanding of the ecology, behavior, and evolution of non-human primates helps anthropologists to identify and interpret those features that unite us with the Primate Order. Throughout this course, we will look at evolutionary features that define and shape the Order Primates. We will also learn the taxonomy and evolutionary history of the primates, and evaluate the ways in which anatomy and ecology shape primate behavior. Lectures will include information from studies of primates in their natural habitats, and discussions will be oriented to both evolutionary and ecological perspectives.

BI 132 Introduction to Animal Behavior - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This course will explore behaviors found in a variety of animals, investigate what functions they might serve, and use the concept of natural selection to understand their evolution. Among the topics in animal behavior that we will discuss are biological clocks, sex, intelligence, communication, and animal consciousness.