Three Levels to Understanding Primate Behavior

  1. Proximate behavior. This answers “what” questions. This includes neural, chemical, physiological, or immediate causes to a particular behavior.
  2. Ontogenetic behavior. This answers “when” questions. That is, this level of understanding discusses when a particular behavior emerges in a subject’s lifetime.
  3. Phylogenetic behavior. This answers “how” questions. That is, this explains how a particular trait or behavior is distributed across related species.

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