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Learn about animal behavior with online courses and programs

Unravel the hidden stories and dynamics of the animal world while contributing to your understanding of the environment. Learn about animal behavior with edX.

What is animal behavior?

Animal behavior refers to the study of how animals interact with their environment, other animals, and themselves. It explores a variety of behavioral aspects, including the ways in which animals communicate, navigate their surroundings, make choices, and exhibit various behaviors, from mating rituals to foraging patterns. 

Understanding animal behavior is crucial for gaining insights into the natural world, and it provides valuable knowledge for fields like biology, ecology, conservation, and psychology. These studies can help scientists and researchers comprehend how animals respond to changes in their environment, enabling them to develop effective strategies for protecting endangered species and preserving ecosystems. Furthermore, insights from animal behavior studies contribute to advancements in veterinary science, animal husbandry, and even the design of robots inspired by animal locomotion and behavior.

Animal Behavior | Introduction Image Description

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Animal behavior course curriculum

In a course focused on animal behavior, learners could explore a wide range of topics that shed light on how animals interact with their environment and each other. Some topic areas might include:

  • How animal behaviors have evolved over time

  • Various ways animals communicate

  • Animal social structures and hierarchies

  • How animals find, capture, and consume food

  • Animal mating rituals, courtship behaviors, and parenting strategies

  • How animals navigate their environment and migrate

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the animal behavior field with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. You can also explore executive education courses specifically designed for busy professionals. Find the right course for you.

Explore jobs related to animal behavior

With a strong foundation in understanding how animals interact with their environment and each other, you can contribute to fields that focus on conservation, research, education, and more. Some potential career paths include:

  • Wildlife biologist: Study and monitor the behavior of animals in their natural habitats, contributing to conservation efforts, population management, and ecosystem preservation.

  • Zoologist: Specialize in the behavior and biology of specific animal species, working in zoos, wildlife reserves, or research institutions to enhance animal wellbeing and understanding.

  • Animal behaviorist: Develop behavior modification programs to address issues in domesticated animals, such as pet behavior problems or training animals for specific tasks.

  • Conservation scientist: Work on projects focused on preserving biodiversity, habitats, and ecosystems by understanding the behavioral needs of different species.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in animal science depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.