Originally the study of animal behavior and psychology, especially in the wild; later came to mean the study of the behaviour of any sentient creature of at least one toposophic node below the level of the observer.
Includes subdisciplines such as sociobiology, group behavior and community structures, communication, social hierarchy, mating behavior, parental care of offspring, altruism, individual versus group survival strategies, the way in which behaviour is shaped by evolutionary forces, and predicting the likely behavior of a sentient in any given situation.
Sentients studied by Sophont Ethologists range from simple microorganisms (protozoa and equivalent) to presophont baseline primates and cetacea. Sentients studied by Transapient Ethologists include hu, splice, provolves, cyborgs, vecs, aliens, and so on. Sentients studied by Higher Ethologists include also posthumans and hyperturings.