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Bird Research in the Netherlands: Inside, Outside and Insight

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

A selective review is given of those aspects of bird research in the Netherlands which might be called 'physiological' in its broadest sense. This research concentrates on the organismal level of analysis; covering areas like functional morphology, behavioural ecology, sensory physiology and ethology. Most research groups combine studies in the field with studies in the lab, usually looking at aspects of behaviour in relation to either causal mechanisms or functional implications. This approach is illustrated by examples indicating how research on one or several bird species is used to get an understanding of a number of fundamental questions, aiming at developing unifying concepts. The discussion gives attention to the fact that the fundamental knowledge provides not just general insights, but can be applied in other contexts. It can, for instance, be used to improve the quality of life for chickens in the poultry industry; to provide the scientific argumentation for nature conservation, or to assist in breeding endangered bird species.

Affiliations: 1: (Section of Ethology, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences, Leiden Universiry, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands


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