Behavior: The Animal Watchers

In a surprise move last week, Sweden's Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine—which usually goes to researchers in disease or laboratory science—to three behavioral scientists: Karl von Frisch, 86, Konrad Lorenz, 69, and Nikolaas Tinbergen, 66. They will share $120,000 in prize money and the satisfaction of seeing ethology, the scientific field which they virtually created, recognized by the highest of academic accolades.

Ethology, the study of animal behavior and its relationships to man, may not be a household word, but its flashier discoveries, like male bonding and territoriality,...

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