An ethologist studies animal behavior, from the tiniest insects to the largest whales. The focus of ethology is not only how animals behave, but also why they behave as they do. For this reason, ethology often involves the study of genetics and evolution to figure out when and how behaviors came about. Ethologists must observe behaviors and record them as data that can be organized and analyzed. Depending on the subject, research may involve long periods of time in the field or in a lab. Most biologists do not specialize in ethology until graduate school. Ethologists find work in research, college teaching, pharmaceutical testing, conservation, animal training, and more. A Ph.D. or degree in veterinary medicine (D.V.M.) is preferred.

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