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Animal Behavior

Kathryn Orzech
  • Support Material Type:
    • Vocabulary Words

Biobehavioral strategies: Strategies for survival and reproduction that take into account the animal's biology. What biological features and capabilities do they have because of their species, their sex and their age? What behaviors can they do or not do based on their biology? What DO they do to survive and pass on their genes to the next generation?

Context/environment: This is where the animal spends most or all of its time. When describing it, make sure to note features like the availability of shelter, food, water and other necessities for your animal. What is the general climate like in terms of temperature, rainfall, etc? Are there plants in the environment? Other animals? How does the focal animal relate to the other occupants of its environment?

Life cycle: What is the timing of growth, development and reproduction. What stages does the animal pass through? (Most animals have infancy, juvenile and adult stages) How old are they at each major life-cycle event, like weaning, sexual maturity, first birth for females? How old does your animal live to be?

Life Ways: These are behaviors the animal engages in to survive. They might include how they find food, how they avoid predators, how they interact with and create alliances with other members of their species.

Information on the Internet


Morbeck, Mary Ellen, Alison Galloway and Adrienne L. Zihlman, Eds. 1997. The Evolving Female: A Life History Perspective. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.

Patterson, J.D. 2001. Primate Behavior: An Exercise Workbook, 2nd Edition. Waveland Press. Prospect Heights, Illinois.

About This Page

University of Arizona

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Kathryn Orzech at

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