In this exercise, you will select a species of your choice and observe this animal (or animals) to test a hypothesis of interest to you about that animal(s)’ behavior.
You will select a species of your choice and observe this animal
In this exercise, you will select a species of your choice and observe this animal (or animals) to test a hypothesis of interest to you about that animal(s)’ behavior. You will use the data based on your observations to test your hypothesis.
For example, some interesting questions you might ask about the dolphins include a simple hypothesis such as whether the sound of approaching visitors increases the amount of time the animals spend swimming, or whether the dolphins spend any time near the front area when no humans are visible nearby. Or you may simply be interested in what proportion of time the dolphins spend swimming as opposed to stationary during the day.
Perhaps you are interested in whether the dolphins spend more time interacting with each other or more time alone, since dolphins are generally social creatures as adults in the wild and you are curious about whether the captive environment is an unhealthy one in that respect – when they do interact – are the encounters agonistic as opposed to friendly encounters?
First, however, you will need to become familiar with their typical behaviors so that you can construct an ethogram for use for your study. Then you will need to create a data sheet that will be useful for collecting the data that you will need to comprise your observations for testing your hypotheses.
You will, for each part of your observation or experiment, fill out detail in the worksheet in your course files. Each piece in your worksheet is information that every animal scientist must know and understand before they can successfully study a nonhuman animal.