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Tinbergen and Lorenz

Two names widely identified with the study of ethology in the 1930s through the 1960s were Niko Tinbergen, from the Netherlands, and Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian who worked in Germany. Tinbergen and Lorenz collaborated in the 1930s. Ethology blossomed after World War II when both Lorenz and Tinbergen developed active programs of research, attracting talented graduate students and co-workers.

Who were the two founding fathers of modern ethology? What were some ways they influenced the field?

Tinbergen and Lorenz invented much of the vocabulary still used today in the field of animal behavior. They wrote books, published articles, and gave many young scholars a start in the field. For example, Eranus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, the leading proponent of Human Ethology, was a student of Lorenz. Although headquartered in different countries, the two founding fathers of modern ethology collaborated many times during their long careers. Both received Nobel Prizes. They died within months of each other, Tinbergen in 1988, Lorenz in 1989.

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