Nikolaas, 1907, 1988, ndl. Zoologe; arbeitete über experimentelle Zoologie u. Tierverhalten; Nobelpreis für Medizin 1973.
(laas) (1907-1988) Dutch-born British zoologist who specialized in the study of instinctive behavior. One of the founders of ethology, the scientific study of animal behavior in natural surroundings, he shared a Nobel prize 1973 with Konrad Lorenz (with whom he worked on several projects) and Karl von Frisch.
Tinbergen investigated other aspects of animal behavior, such as learning, and also studied human behavior, particularly aggression, which he believed to be an inherited instinct that developed when humans changed from being predominantly herbivorous to being hunting carnivores.
Tinbergen was born in The Hague and educated at Leiden, where he became professor 1947. From 1949 he was in the UK at Oxford, and established a school of animal-behavior studies there.
In The Study of Instinct 1951, Tinbergen showed that the aggressive behavior of the male three-spined stickleback is stimulated by the red coloration on the underside of other males (which develops during the mating season). He also demonstrated that the courtship dance of the male is stimulated by the sight of the swollen belly of a female that is ready to lay eggs.
In The Herring Gull’s World 1953, Tinbergen described the social behavior of gulls, emphasizing the importance of stimulus–response processes in territorial behavior.