Cover image for Vol. 123 Issue 10

Edited By: Jutta Schneider and Susan A. Foster (Editors-in-Chief)

Impact Factor: 1.398

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 47/51 (Behavioral Sciences); 52/162 (Zoology)

Online ISSN: 1439-0310

Tinbergen Virtual Issue

A celebration of a true milestone of Ethology: 50 years of Tinbergen (1963)

Edited by Andrew G. Fulmer and Mark E. Hauber

“Our science will always need naturalists and observers, as well as experimenters [… and so] we must encourage them to develop their gifts of observation and help them ask relevant questions with respect to what they have seen” (Tinbergen, 1963, p. 413). Writing on the pages of Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie (now Ethology) 50 years ago, Niko Tinbergen introduced the four questions which allowed him to conduct a body of research leading to a shared Nobel Prize in Physiology ten years later. The how-s of causation and development and the why-s of phylogeny and function remain fundamental ethological tools. Today, physiological and cognitive causation is explored by using whole-brain scanners in awake and behaving animals, and ontogenetic studies explore extended phenotypes and epigenetic influences, whereas phylogeny is investigated with complete genomic data, and fitness is measured as life-time reproductive success of animals tracked by satellites. Ethology is proud to present a virtual issue of articles which span each decade since Professor Tinbergen’s publication in this journal, and includes major themes of research on evolutionary arms races, sexual selection, learning, life history, neuroethology, phylogenetics, and social behavior. All cite Tinbergen, 1963, and are divided equally between theoretical and empirical works. This is but a small sampling of the many findings which we owe to the four questions of Tinbergen, but it is our hope that they highlight the scope of these questions’ role in shaping, ultimately and proximately, the methods of ethological inquiry.

On aims and methods of Ethology
Tinbergen, N.

Tribute to Tinbergen: Public Engagement in Ethology
Julie Hecht and Caren B. Cooper

Tribute to Tinbergen: Putting Niko Tinbergen's ‘Four Questions’ in Historical Context
Richard W. Burkhardt Jr

Tribute to Tinbergen: The Four Problems of Biology. A Critical Appraisal
Michael Taborsky

Tribute to Tinbergen: Questions and How to Answer Them
Marian Stamp Dawkins

Tribute to Tinbergen: The Place of Animal Behavior in Biology
Joan E. Strassmann

Experiments on the selection against different colour morphs of a twig caterpillar by insectivorous birds
Mariath, H. A

Understanding mimicry-with special reference to vocal mimicry
Wickler, W.

Models of reproductive skew: A review and synthesis
Johnstone, R. A.

Evolution of courtship behaviour patterns and reproductive isolation in the Desmognathus ochrophaeus complex
Mead L. S. and Verrell, P. A.

How "Fixed" is the Fixed Action Pattern?
Schleidt, WM

On the Utility of the Proximate-Ultimate Distinction in the Study of Animal Behavior
Dewsbury, D. A.

The Utility of the Proximate Ultimate Dichotomy in Ethology
Alcock, J. and Sherman, P.

"Supernormality" in a Learning Situation
Hogan, J. A., Kruijt, J. P. and Friklink, J. H.

The Role of Song Phonology and Syntax in Vocal Learning Preferences in the Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
Marler, P. and Peters, S.

The ontogeny of a pecking preference in domestic chicks
Dawkins, R.

Half a Century on the Concepts of Innateness and Instinct: Survey, Synthesis and Philosophical Implications
Cassidy, J.

Prediction of Switching and Counter-switching based on optimal foraging
Visser, M.

Ontogeny of time allocation in black-tailed prairie dogs
Loughry, W.

A Model of Imprinting Evolved from Neurophysiological Concepts

Bischof, H.

How elephants are opening doors: developmental neuroethology, attachment and social context
Bradshaw, G.A. and Schore, A. N.

On the causal and functional significance of displacement activities
McFarland, D. J.

Social Psychology and Primatology: Proximate explanations
Chadwick-Jones, J. K.

Phylogenetic Analysis of the Evolution of Display Behavior in the Neotropical Manakins (Aves: Pipridae)
Prum, R. O.

Testing an Adaptive Hypothesis Through Context-Dependence: Effects of Water Depth on Foraging Behaviour in Three Species of Garter Snakes
de Queiroz, A.

A reassessment of the function of scent marking in territories
Gosling, L. M.

Understanding Social Behavior with the Help of Complexity Science
Hemelrijk, C. K.