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Sample Ethogram

Kathryn Orzech
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    • Other

An Ethogram is a list of behaviors with precise definitions, usually grouped into categories according to the kind of behavior. Some typical kinds of behaviors, especially when dealing with a group-living animal, might be solitary behaviors, food-related behaviors, social behaviors and aggressive behaviors. Many ethograms also include a code (letter and/or number) that the researcher can use on their data sheet as a shorthand notation for a particular behavior.

Sample Ethogram

Type of Behavior Behavior Code Description of Behavior
Solitary Groom self GS Animal engages in washing or smoothing its own fur or hair using tongue or forelimbs
  Sleep S Animal assumes species-specific position for sleep, stays in one place and is not alert to environmental changes
  Rest R Animal stays in one place but may be roused easily by environmental changes
  Locomote L Animal moves from place to place
Food Related Eat E Animal consumes food it finds in its environment
  Look for Food LF Animal searches the environment for food items
  Drink D Animal consumes water or other liquids found in its environment
Social Groom Others GO Animal engages in washing or smoothing the fur or hair of another animal in its environment
  Play P Animal engages in interactions with others that may involve locomotion, climbing, manipulating objects or other activities that show a relationship between two or more interacting animals
Aggressive Fight F Animal engages in physical conflict with another animal in ite environment
  Steal Food SF Animal approaches another animal that has located food in the environment and either by physical force or distraction, removed that food item from the vicinity of the other animal

Information on the Internet


Morbeck, Mary Ellen, Alison Galloway and Adrienne L. Zihlman, Eds. 1997. The Evolving Female: A Life History Perspective. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.

Patterson, J.D. 2001. Primate Behavior: An Exercise Workbook, 2nd Edition. Waveland Press. Prospect Heights, Illinois.

About This Page

University of Arizona

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Kathryn Orzech at

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