Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Tinbergen's Legacy
Function and Mechanism in Behavioral Biology

$59.99 (P)

N. Tinbergen, Jerry A. Hogan, Johan J. Bolhuis, David Crews, Ton Groothuis, Innes Cuthill, Michael J. Ryan, David F. Sherry
View all contributors
  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521697552

$ 59.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Nobel laureate Niko Tinbergen laid the foundations for the scientific study of animal behavior with his work on causation, development, function and evolution. In this book, an international cast of leading animal biologists reflect on the enduring significance of Tinbergen’s groundbreaking proposals for modern behavioral biology. It includes a reprint of Tinbergen’s original article on the famous "four whys" and a contemporary introduction, after which each of the four questions are discussed in the light of contemporary evidence. Also discussed is the wider significance of recent trends in evolutionary psychology and neuroecology to integrate the "four whys". With a foreword by one of Tinbergen’s most prominent pupils, Aubrey Manning, this wide-ranging book demonstrates that Tinbergen’s views on animal behavior are crucial for modern behavioral biology. It will appeal to graduate students and researchers in animal behavior, behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology.

    • Foreword written by Aubrey Manning, one of Tinbergen's most prominent pupils
    • Contains a reprint of Tinbergen's original article on the famous 'four whys'- causation, development, function and evolution
    • Includes contemporary debates concerning integration of Tinbergen's 'four whys', which demonstrate how Tinbergen's views are crucial for modern behavioural ecology
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an important evaluation of the direction in which animal behaviour studies have been, and are, moving since the days of Niko Tinbergen … well co-ordinated and edited …' Ethology

    'The field [of behavioural biology] has changed considerably in the last forty years and [this] book in its nine chapters provides a useful update on the subject.' Biologist

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521697552
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. On aims and methods of ethology N Tinbergen
    2. Tinbergen's four questions and contemporary behavioural biology Jerry A. Hogan and Johan J. Bolhuis
    3. Causation: the study of behavioural mechanisms Jerry A. Hogan
    4. Tinbergen's fourth question. Ontogeny: sexual and individual differentiation David Crews and Ton Groothuis
    5. The development of behaviour: trends since Tinbergen (1963) Jerry A. Hogan and Johan J. Bolhuis
    6. The study of function in behavioural ecology Innes Cuthill
    7. The evolution of behaviour, and integrating it towards a complete and correct understanding of behavioural biology Michael J. Ryan
    8. Do ideas about function help in the study of causation? David F. Sherry
    9. Function and mechanism in neuroecology: looking for clues Johan J. Bolhuis.

  • Editor

    Johan Bolhuis, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Johan J. Bolhuis is professor of Behavioural Biology at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. His main research interests are in the behavioral, cognitive and neural mechanisms of learning, memory and development, in particular song learning in birds. He has been an editor of the leading journal Animal Behaviour and President of the Royal Dutch Zoological Society.


    Simon Verhulst, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
    Simon Verhulst is assistant professor of Behavioural Biology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. His research interests have included ecological immunology, avian life history evolution and avian energetics, all with the aim to study the interplay between function and mechanism of behavior. In 2004 he was elected as member of 'The Young Academy', the junior section of the Dutch Royal Society. He has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology since 2007.


    N. Tinbergen, Jerry A. Hogan, Johan J. Bolhuis, David Crews, Ton Groothuis, Innes Cuthill, Michael J. Ryan, David F. Sherry

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.