Ethology is the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually, focus on behaviour under natural conditions. Ethology supports the idea that an animal’s behaviour or personality is based on both the biological and environmental nature. All the theories related to animal behaviour is known as an ethological theory.
Ethologists have been concerned particularly with the evolution of behaviour and the understanding of behaviour in terms of the theory of natural selection. The first modern ethologist was Charles Darwin, whose book “the expression of the emotions of human and animals” influenced many ethologists. Darwin viewed each species of living things in a “struggle for survival” within its natural environment. He viewed the natural environment in terms of risks and opportunity for survival. According to him, only those members of species with the most adaptive traits would be likely to live long enough to reproduce and pass these traits to new generations.
Another important theory was given by Lorenz. He observed that there is a critical period of time during which the newborn baby is particularly sensitive to certain forms of learning. For example- these geese babies are born with a natural biological ability to develop an attachment with the first thing they see when they open their eyes for the first time whether it is mother geese, other goose or even child’s toy. Lorenz referred to this biological readiness for learning as “imprinting”.
Ethological theories help us to identify behaviour patterns that have had and may continue to have, significant impact on the survival of the species.