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Answer for the clue "Study of natural animal behavior patterns ", 8 letters:

Alternative clues for the word ethology

Word definitions for ethology in dictionaries

Wikipedia Word definitions in Wikipedia
Ethology is the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily adaptive trait. Behaviourism is a term that also describes the scientific and objective ...

The Collaborative International Dictionary Word definitions in The Collaborative International Dictionary
Ethology \E*thol"o*gy\, n. [Gr. ? a depicting of character; ? custom, moral nature + ? to speak.] A treatise on morality; ethics. The science of the formation of character, national and collective as well as individual. --J. S. Mill.

WordNet Word definitions in WordNet
n. the branch of zoology that studies the behavior of animals in their natural habitats

Wiktionary Word definitions in Wiktionary
n. 1 (context zoology English) The scientific study of human and animal behaviour. 2 (context obsolete English) The study of the human ethos.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary Word definitions in Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
late 17c., "mimicry, art of depicting characters by mimic gestures," from Latin ethologia , from Greek ethologia , from ethos "character" (see ethos ). Taken by Mill as "science of character formation" (1843); as a branch of zoology, "study of instincts," ...

Usage examples of ethology.

I had behaved like a bull in a china shop, because that which could not be figured out by anthropology and ethnography, with their field research, or by the profoundest philosophical reflection -- meditation on "human nature," and which defied prepositional formulation in both neurophysiology and ethology, and which provided fertile ground for ever-proliferating metaphysics, for psychological abstrusity, and for psychoanalysis classical and linguistic, and God knows what other esoteric study -- I had attempted to cut through, like the Gordian knot, with my proof contained in nine printed pages.