Early ethology: growing from Dutch roots

  • Gerard P. Baerends


In the Netherlands, between 1930 and 1940, ethology grew from what was originally seen as a pleasant and harmless hobby, to a new biological discipline, recognized by the academic world. Together with the Austro-German school, Dutch ethology came to play a leading role in this new study of animal behaviour. Its spectacular growth was due to the leadership of Niko Tinbergen, and I have been asked to give you here a kind of eyewitness report on how it all happened. Before doing this, I want to deal with some aspects of the cultural climate of the Netherlands in the first quarter of this century which were responsible for making that country one of the birthplaces of ethology and for facilitating Niko’s development as one of its pioneers.


Stimulus Situation Grey Heron Snow Bunting Behavioural Organization Eyewitness Report 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard P. Baerends
    • 1
  1. 1.PaterswoldeNetherlands

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