Julian Huxley and the Rise of Modern Ethology

  • R. I. M. Dunbar
Part of the Studies in Biology, Economy and Society book series (SBES)


During the first three decades of this century, Julian Huxley carried out a series of field studies on the courtship behaviour of water birds. These studies have not only stood the test of time, but they are in many ways models of ethological field work. In fact, the debt that ethology owes to Huxley has not often been recognised, mainly I suspect because Huxley’s active research in this area occurred so much earlier than the main flowering of ethology after the Second World War. Yet even a casual reading of Huxley’s early papers reveals a surprising number of respects in which he anticipated the conceptual developments that were to occur later in the work of the classical ethologists.


Courtship Behaviour Vervet Monkey Zoological Society Mute Swan Nest Chamber 
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© The Eugenics Society 1989

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  • R. I. M. Dunbar

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