This glossary is developing as posts are added.

Allele – one of two or more genes that can occupy the same place (locus) in a chromosome and determine the same trait, e.g. coat colour.

anthropomorphism – attibuting human behaviour, expectations, ideals to an animal

band –

behavioural ecologists

behavioural ecology –

biodiversity – all the species that live in an environment or place.

biomass – the weight or volume of living matter in an evironment or place.

browser – animal that eats leaves and twigs of shrubs and trees

commensal – literally meaning ‘eating together at the same table’. Used in ecology to refer to a species that lives with (and on or in) another species without injury to either species, e.g., dogs following hunting Palaeolithic humans to scavenge from their kills.

biological fitness –

Gene – a sequence of molecules forming part of a chromosome. The sequence is inheritable – transferred from a parent to offspring, and determine some characteristic of the offspring, like coat colour.


Genome – all of the genes on all of the chromosomes in an organism, population or species.



grazer – animal that eats grass

heuristic value – serves as a guide, e.g., rule-of-thumb, but may not actually be known

Loci – sites on chromosomes (plural).


Locus – site on a chromosome (singular).



mutualism – two or more individuals have a relationship from which each benefits

Palaeolithic – the period in human pre-history defined by the manufacture of unpolished chipped stone tools, about 2.5 million to 3 million years ago until about 10,000 years ago, or the end of the last ice-age.

Pelage – the soft hair, fur or wool covering of a mammal


polygyny – where males sire the offspring of two or more females in a breeding seaons but the females offpsring are sired by only one male.

ungulate – mammal with hooves


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