Animal Behaviour

Subject ZOOL30006 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures and multimedia presentations.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 lectures during the semester; and 1 x one hour multimedia presentation per week
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

Plus one of


One of

  • 654-201 Invertebrate Structure and Function (prior to 2009)
  • 654-202 Vertebrate Structure and Function (prior to 2009)
  • 654-204 Ecology: Individual and Populations (prior to 2009)
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed either of the following subjects may not enrol in this subject for credit

  • 654-303 Experimental Animal Behaviour (prior to 2003)
  • 654-305 Animal Behaviour (prior to 2003)
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Raoul Mulder


Subject Overview:

This subject describes and evaluates contemporary issues in animal behaviour. In particular, it highlights the relevance of evolutionary theory to ultimate explanations of animal behaviour and other life-history characteristics. Topics include foraging behaviour, competitive interactions and the application of game theory, signals and communication, courtship and mating, sexual selection and sexual conflict, parental care, and the evolution of social behaviour.

The subject provides an opportunity to assimilate and critically evaluate the relevant, contemporary literature, thereby ensuring a familiarity with, and understanding of, current and controversial areas of animal behaviour.


On completion of this subject, students should be aware of the ways in which a scientific and evolutionary approach to animal behaviour are developed; appreciate the key evolutionary processes that shape animal behaviour, and have experience in writing a lucid and considered account of scholarly research.


Written work of up to 2000 words due during the semester (40%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: This subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to assimilate and critically evaluate new knowledge within a scientific paradigm, and to communicate that knowledge to a broad audience.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Animal Disease Biotechnology
Behavioural Ecology
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Wildlife and Conservation

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