Behaviour is what an animal does, and how it does it. To some extent all behaviour has a genetic basis, but in general, behaviours are a response to some environmental stimulus. Ethology is the correct term for the study of behavior in its natural habitat. It is mostly a descriptive science, because most investigations in ethology rely on observing natural behaviours, rather than setting up experiments.
There are two types of behavior innate and learned.
- Innate behavior. This type of behaviour has little influence from the environment. The behaviours do not need to be learnt, and vary little within species. (inflexible)
- Learned behavior. This type of behaviour develops from an animals experience of its environment. The behaviour is not passed on genetically.
Some behaviours are a blend of both, so classification is not always so easy.