Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!
Browse other programs we offer

Animal Behavior: How It Evolves and Why It Matters

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0268
Select Your Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
Powered by Zoom

In a lively exploration of animal behavior in all its glorious complexity, biologist Marlene Zuk goes beyond the tired nature-versus-nurture debate to focus on the interaction between genes and the environment. Driving her investigation is a simple but essential question: How does behavior evolve?

Zuk addresses this question by drawing from a wealth of research on animal behavior, including her own on insects. She shares stories of cockatoos that dance to rock music, ants that heal their injured companions, dogs that exhibit signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more.

For insights into animal intelligence, mating behavior, and disease-fighting capacity, Zuk explores the behavior of smart spiders, silent crickets, and crafty crows. In each example, she clearly demonstrates how these traits were produced by the complex and diverse interactions between an organism’s genes and its environment—and urges us to consider how that same process applies to humans.

She helps us to see more clearly that animal and human behavior, while deeply complicated, can also be remarkably similar.

Zuk’s book Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test: How Behavior Evolves and Why It Matters (W. W. Norton) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for online programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our online programs presented on Zoom.

Inside Science

This online program is presented on Zoom.