Animal Behavior Course - BIO 359K | University Extension | The University of Texas at Austin

Animal Behavior Course - BIO 359K

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Principles of Animal Behavior
BIO 359K - Online for Spring 2022

Principles of Animal Behavior 

EVERYBODY likes animal behavior!  (At least, we all like watching shows on Animal Planet.) 

Not everyone realizes, though, that animal behavior is the result of evolutionary principles, particularly natural and sexual selection acting on the anatomy and physiology of an animal's body and brain. The study of animal behavior by humans has also evolved from simple beginnings at the dawn of human civilization until today’s rigorous examination of behavior in the context of neuroscience and ecology. This course is designed to put you in the academic shoes of the researchers behind the "animal planet" shows, as well as challenge you to begin thinking of the interactions among genetics, endocrinology, motivation, metabolism, life history, learning, neurobiology, sensory physiology and other elements that clearly contribute to the way an animal behaves. Animal behavior is fun; it is also a rigorous science, please be prepared to study.    

Class Schedule

Class will meet online Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m. CT, January 18 - May 5, 2022.

Assignments, Exams & Grading

Pre-recorded PowerPoint lectures for this course are already uploaded to Canvas, and you can listen to them asynchronously whenever it is convenient for you. In addition, you can watch the lectures live with classmates and the instructor at the scheduled class times. Any other information you need (including Study Guides and Learning Objectives) is available on Canvas. You must have PowerPoint available on your laptop, pad, computer, or phone or be able to download the files for full functionality. 

There will be a Canvas quiz every other Friday, which will be accessible for 12 hours from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. The quiz format will be entirely “answer all that apply” type questions. The quizzes will be timed for 1 hour.

Students receive three hours of Extension credit (not in-residence) on a UT Austin transcript that counts towards their cumulative GPA. 

Course Logistics

This course is 100% online and includes live streaming video. Real-time participation is strongly recommended during scheduled meeting times; however, prerecorded lectures and class sessions will be made available for on-demand viewing. For the most part, this course can be completed on your schedule. 

Requried Reading

No textbook purchase is required for this course. All readings are available in Canvas.


Biology 325 or 325H with a grade of at least C-; or consent of the University Extension advisor. Students must have the approval of the University Extension advisor to enroll in this course. See Course Approvals for more information.


No refunds after January 21, 2022.

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Official UT Austin Description

BIO 359K - Principles of Animal Behavior - An introduction to the study of animal behavior: descriptive analysis of behavior; physiological basis of behavior; development of behavior; adaptive significance and evolution of behavior; communication and social behavior.

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Advisor Approval Required

Students must have the approval of the University Extension advisor to enroll in this course.

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