From February 2016

The Behavioral Ecology Of The Jesuits

More than 50 years ago, behaviorist Niko Tinbergen defined the foundation of behavioral ecology, using four basic questions derived from Aristotlean logic:

  1. Mechanism (causation): How does this behavior occur in an individual?
  2. Ontogeny (development): How does this behavior arise in an individual?
  3. Adaptive value (function): Why is this behavior adaptive for the species? [Why is the wrong term, says William Garner; correct term is How.]
  4. Phylogeny (evolution): How does this behavior arise in the species?

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