The Animal Behavior Society was formally established as an independent organization during the 1964 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Montreal, Canada, although its earliest records date from the work of predecessor organizations, beginning in 1948. The Society was an outgrowth of the Section of Animal Behavior and Sociobiology (established in 1956) of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), and the Division of Animal Behavior (established in 1958) of the American Society of Zoologists (ASZ). They in turn stemmed from the ad hoc Committee for the Study of Animal Societies Under Natural Conditions (CSASUNC) organized by John Paul Scott and colleagues (1947) following a postwar (1946) Bar Harbor conference on Genetics and Social Behavior, supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
With the establishment of the Section of Animal Behavior and Sociobiology (SOABS) within the ESA, the eventual development into the Animal Behavior Society was virtually assured. The Section issued newsletters to its members on a regular basis, replacing occasional newsletters distributed by CSASUNC.
In 1958, the Division of Animal Behavior (DAB) was established within the ASZ. The ASZ Division and the ESA Section functioned as a single entity, with overlapping membership, a common set of by-laws, and a single slate of officers. The joint DAB/SOABS organization then joined forces, in 1958, with the British Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour to sponsor the journal, Animal Behaviour. David E. Davis was named American associate editor. Archives of the journal are not included in this collection; instead they are maintained at the University of Akron, Ohio.
By 1963-1964, it was clearly time to consider the establishment of a new and completely independent society. The final steps were taken at the winter (1964) AAAS meeting in Montreal, Canada; and the Animal Behavior Society was formally created.