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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
- About Us
An Instinct for Animal Behavior
15 April 1999 7:30 pm
Zoologist Nikolaas Tinbergen was born in The Hague, Netherlands, on this day in 1907. Tinbergen helped found the fledgling field of ethology, the study of how animals behave in response to environmental stimuli. He worked closely with Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz; together they theorized that instinct arises from an animal's impulses, after the environment triggers a repetitive behavior they called a fixed-action pattern.
Tinbergen, who spent most of his career in the zoology department at the Oxford University Museum in England, also was an award-winning writer and a producer of nature films on stimulus-response processes in wasps, fish, and gulls. His 1951 book, The Study of Instinct, introduced ethology to many readers. Tinbergen, Lorenz, and German zoologist Karl von Frisch shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1973, the first time the Nobel Committee recognized research in sociobiology or ethology. Tinbergen died in 1988.
[Source: Emily McMurray, Ed., Notable Twentieth Century Scientists (Gale Research Inc., ITP, 1995).]