Watch this clip to learn more about ethograms and two types of animal behaviour samples. This includes challenge two, where you can either create an ethogram from scratch, or else you the "Create A Gentoo Penguin Ethogram" game at the bottom of this section.
Watch this clip to find out about your third challenge.
Ethograms are lists of defined animal behaviours that researchers expect to observe animals doing during a research study. The definitions help researchers to tell apart each behaviour to ensure that all researchers collecting data for the study are being consistent and accurate.
This short game is designed to allow you to create your own ethogram to use during a gentoo penguin observation. Can you match the behaviour name to the definition?
You know what, why and how and you’ve had a go – you can now call yourself an animal behaviourist for sure! Behaviours differ hugely depending on the species, individuals and when you conduct your study. Animals that are active during the night are described as nocturnal. During the day, animals are called diurnal and crepuscular animals are mainly active during twilight hours. With that knowledge, are you ready for your last set of challenges?
Which of the three categories (nocturnal, diurnal or crepuscular) would you put a koala in? Make a hypothesis and create your own ethogram for koalas. While watching our koala cam, try it out. Don’t forget the importance of replication too! The longer you collect data on the animal for, the more representative of its true behaviours your conclusion will be!
Now that you have your data, you can use it to prove or disprove your hypothesis by creating a graph of your results. Then, share any findings with us at RZSS Learning and compare your ethograms and hypotheses with others! We’re looking forward to hearing how you’ve got on!
Once you've have completed our last research challenges, make sure you take the final quiz below to show us everything you have learned!
Want to gain more experience in behavioural research? Look out for more
opportunities to engage with behavioural research with RZSS in the future at Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park:
With Your School:
You can learn more about our animals behaviour on a trip to Edinburgh Zoo
or the Highland Wildlife Park with your school! Just book onto the Animal Drama
lesson (for primary schools) or Animal Behaviour lesson (for secondary schools). For full details on how teachers can book
onto these curriculum-linked lessons, click here! Prices are from as little as £6 per head including zoo admission!
As an S5-S6 Student:
We have several cost-effective offerings
designed to provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and
understanding of behavioural research, as well as complete behavioural research
projects. Have a look at the below to see what might best suit you:
We would love to think you can
take the knowledge from this resource to enhance your next trip to Edinburgh
Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park. Whether it's simply looking out for the
diversity of behaviours seen in our exhibits, or turning up with your own data
sheet and ethogram, you’re sure to find
that learning is more fun at the zoo!
Other Useful Resources
If you have enjoyed learning about ethology at home, you can continue your journey with Living Links, the behavioural research station based at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, run in partnership with St Andrews University. Living Links have created a series of resources on supporting behavioural research over the years and you can find them all at:
If you'd rather just stick to the live webcams, that's great too! You can find a range of ethograms in Level 2 for your use online or at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park in the future. Here are the direct links to each of RZSS's live webcams: