An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology

An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology

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Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com/go/davies/behaviouralecology This textbook helped to define the field of Behavioural Ecology. In this fourth edition the text has been completely revised, with new chapters and many new illustrations and full colour photographs. The theme, once again, is the influence of natural selection on behaviour an animal's struggle to survive and reproduce by exploiting and competing for resources, avoiding predators, selecting mates and caring for offspring, and how animal societies reflect both cooperation and conflict among individuals. Stuart A. West has joined as a co-author bringing his own perspectives and work on microbial systems into the book. Written in the same engaging and lucid style as the previous editions, the authors explain the latest theoretical ideas using examples from micro-organisms, invertebrates and vertebrates. There are boxed sections for some topics and marginal notes help guide the reader. The book is essential reading for students of behavioural ecology, animal behaviour and evolutionary biology.
Key Features: * Long-awaited new edition of a field-defining textbook * New chapters, illustrations and colour photographs * New co-author * Focuses on the influence of natural selection on behavior, and how animal societies reflect both cooperation and conflict among individuals The long-awaited update to a classic in this field is now here, presenting new direc-tions in thinking and addressing burning questions. Richly informed by progress in many other disciplines, such as sensory physiology, genetics and evolutionary theory, it marks the emergence of behav-ioural ecology as a fully fledged discipline .. This is a marvellous book, written in a lucid style. A must-read for those in the field, it is also a cornucopia of new thinking for anyone interested in evolution and behaviour. Manfred Milinski, Nature, 2012
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Product details

  • Paperback | 520 pages
  • 190 x 243 x 25mm | 1,090g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 4th Edition
  • w. drawings (some two-col.) by Jan Parr and figs.
  • 1405114169
  • 9781405114165
  • 11,994

Back cover copy

This textbook helped to define the field of Behavioural Ecology. In this fourth edition the text has been completely revised, with new chapters and many new illustrations and colour photographs. The theme, once again, is the influence of natural selection on behaviour - an animal's struggle to survive and reproduce by exploiting and competing for resources, avoiding predators, selecting mates and caring for offspring, - and how animal societies reflect both cooperation and conflict among individuals.

Written in the same engaging and lucid style as the previous editions, the authors explain the latest theoretical ideas using examples from micro-organisms, invertebrates and vertebrates. There are boxed sections for some topics and marginal notes help guide the reader. The book will be essential reading for students of behavioural ecology, animal behaviour and evolutionary biology.
show more

Table of contents

Preface x Acknowledgements xiii 1 Natural Selection, Ecology and Behaviour 1 Watching and wondering 1 Natural selection 5 Genes and behaviour 6 Selfish individuals or group advantage? 11 Phenotypic plasticity: climate change and breeding times 18 Behaviour, ecology and evolution 21 Summary 22 Further reading 22 Topics for discussion 23 2 Testing Hypotheses in Behavioural Ecology 24 The comparative approach 25 Breeding behaviour of gulls in relation to predation risk 26 Social organization of weaver birds 28 Social organization in African ungulates 30 Limitations of early comparative studies 31 Comparative approach to primate ecology and behaviour 33 Using phylogenies in comparative analysis 37 The comparative approach reviewed 45 Experimental studies of adaptation 46 Summary 49 Further reading 50 Topics for discussion 51 3 Economic Decisions and the Individual 52 The economics of carrying a load 52 The economics of prey choice 59 Sampling and information 62 The risk of starvation 63 Environmental variability, body reserves and food storing 65 Food storing birds: from behavioural ecology to neuroscience 66 The evolution of cognition 71 Feeding and danger: a trade-off 73 Social learning 75 Optimality models and behaviour: an overview 79 Summary 81 Further reading 82 Topics for discussion 82 4 Predators versus Prey: Evolutionary Arms Races 83 Red Queen evolution 83 Predators versus cryptic prey 86 Enhancing camouflage 92 Warning colouration: aposematism 95 Mimicry 100 Trade-offs in prey defences 103 Cuckoos versus hosts 105 Summary 113 Further reading 114 Topics for discussion 114 5 Competing for Resources 116 The Hawk Dove game 116 Competition by exploitation: the ideal free distribution 119 Competition by resource defence: the despotic distribution 123 The ideal free distribution with unequal competitors 123 The economics of resource defence 126 Producers and scroungers 130 Alternative mating strategies and tactics 131 ESS thinking 142 Animal personalities 143 Summary 144 Further reading 145 Topics for discussion 146 6 Living in Groups 147 How grouping can reduce predation 148 How grouping can improve foraging 159 Evolution of group living: shoaling in guppies 163 Group size and skew 164 Group decision making 169 Summary 177 Further reading 177 Topics for discussion 178 7 Sexual Selection, Sperm Competition and Sexual Conflict 179 Males and females 180 Parental investment and sexual competition 182 Why do females invest more in offspring care than do males? 184 Evidence for sexual selection 186 Why are females choosy? 189 Genetic benefits from female choice: two hypotheses 194 Testing the hypotheses for genetic benefits 196 Sexual selection in females and male choice 201 Sex differences in competition 204 Sperm competition 205 Constraints on mate choice and extra-pair matings 208 Sexual conflict 209 Sexual conflict: who wins? 216 Chase-away sexual selection 218 Summary 220 Further reading 221 Topics for discussion 221 8 Parental Care and Family Conflicts 223 Evolution of parental care 223 Parental investment: a parent s optimum 227 Varying care in relation to costs and benefits 229 Sexual conflict 232 Sibling rivalry and parent offspring conflict: theory 238 Sibling rivalry: evidence 240 Parent offspring conflict: evidence 243 Brood parasites 249 Summary 252 Further reading 252 Topics for discussion 253 9 Mating Systems 254 Mating systems with no male parental care 254 Mating systems with male parental care 264 A hierarchical approach to mating system diversity 279 Summary 280 Further reading 281 Topics for discussion 281 10 Sex Allocation 282 Fisher s theory of equal investment 285 Sex allocation when relatives interact 286 Sex allocation in variable environments 296 Selfish sex ratio distorters 304 Summary 305 Further reading 305 Topics for discussion 306 11 Social Behaviours: Altruism to Spite 307 Kin selection and inclusive fitness 308 Hamilton s rule 313 How do individuals recognize kin? 318 Kin selection doesn t need kin discrimination 322 Selfish restraint and kin selection 325 Spite 327 Summary 331 Further reading 332 Topics for discussion 333 12 Cooperation 334 What is cooperation? 334 Free riding and the problem of cooperation 336 Solving the problem of cooperation 337 Kin selection 339 Hidden benefits 341 By-product benefit 341 Reciprocity 345 Enforcement 350 A case study the Seychelles Warbler 354 Manipulation 356 Summary 358 Further reading 358 Topics for discussion 359 13 Altruism and Conflict in the Social Insects 360 The social insects 360 The life cycle and natural history of a social insect 364 The economics of eusociality 366 The pathway to eusociality 366 The haplodiploidy hypothesis 367 The monogamy hypothesis 371 The ecological benefits of cooperation 375 Conflict within insect societies 379 Conflict over the sex ratio in the social hymenoptera 379 Worker policing in the social hymenoptera 386 Superorganisms 389 Comparison of vertebrates with insects 390 Summary 392 Further reading 392 Topics for discussion 393 14 Communication and Signals 394 The types of communication 395 The problem of signal reliability 396 Indices 397 Handicaps 405 Common interest 411 Human language 416 Dishonest signals 417 Summary 421 Further reading 422 Topics for discussion 423 15 Conclusion 424 How plausible are our main premises? 424 Causal and functional explanations 436 A final comment 438 Summary 441 Further reading 441 References 442 Index 489 COMPANION WEBSITE This book is accompanied by a companion website: www.wiley.com/go/davies/behaviouralecology With figures and tables from the book for downloading
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Review Text

"... a new edition of the textbook that has introduced generations of undergraduates (and postgraduates) to the delights of behavioural ecology, inspiring many (myself included) to take up the discipline professionally, is a rare treat. Behavioural ecology is, fundamentally, modern-day natural history and there is no clearer written, more inspiringly enthusiastic guide to the subject on the market. This book sets the gold standard for behavioural ecology and animal behaviour textbooks which will no doubt continue to inform and delight students and researchers in equal measure for many years to come." (Animal Behaviour, 1 March 2013)

"Overall, this seems a timely update to a very useful book; it should be widely used by lecturers and undergraduates alike." (British Ecological Society Bulletin, 1 December 2012)

"[An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology, 4th Edition] Stands tall as the textbook to have in the field of Behavioral Ecology...I expect anyone with an A level in Biology, or equivalent, or an interest in Zoology without the qualification, could pick this book up and get a lot out of it...What this book is, is good science explained well, I scored higher in my behavioral ecology exam than I did in any other exam in my finals. I wouldn't put that entirely down to this book, but it certainly influenced things.

The book is well printed, as you would expect, with great clear photographs used liberally, and a lot of graphs and diagrams.

In summary then, if you want to know why animals behave the way they do, why swordtail fish do really have the long tails, why birds sing, why fish shoal under certain circumstances, why well fed parrot females produce more males, and why related long-tailed tits help each other raise young, then this book really is for you. I recommend it wholeheartedly." (The Amateur Naturalist magazine, 1 November 2012)

"The book opens with a section on Watching and Wondering, capturing the excitement of natural history, that same wonderment that Kruuk describes so well, and then guides the reader through a series of fascinating questions and findings, experiments and field studies. . . This is clearly good for students wishing to put together presentations for assessments, and extremely useful for lecturers, new and old . . I should say that this is a certainty and future generations will owe this book a considerable debt." (Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 1 October 2012)

"Among the most influential books in the field of behavioral ecology, An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology certainly stands out to the extent that it has been called 'a classic textbook." (Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2012)

"The long-awaited update to a classic in this field is now here, presenting new directions in thinking and addressing burning questions. Richly informed by progress in many other disciplines, such as sensory physiology, genetics and evolutionary theory, it marks the emergence of behavioural ecology as a fully fledged discipline..... This is a marvellous book, written in a lucid style. A must-read for those in the field, it is also a cornucopia of new thinking for anyone interested in evolution and behaviour." (Manfred Milinski, Nature, 2012)
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Review quote

Altogether this is an excellent introductory text, with full and balanced coverage, easy to read and, to the publisher s credit, a physically attractive book. It does the authors great credit that they have so refreshed an enduring classic. (Austral Ecology, 20 July 2015) a new edition of the textbook that has introduced generations of undergraduates (and postgraduates) to the delights of behavioural ecology, inspiring many (myself included) to take up the discipline professionally, is a rare treat. Behavioural ecology is, fundamentally, modern-day natural history and there is no clearer written, more inspiringly enthusiastic guide to the subject on the market. This book sets the gold standard for behavioural ecology and animal behaviour textbooks which will no doubt continue to inform and delight students and researchers in equal measure for many years to come. (Animal Behaviour, 1 March 2013) Overall, this seems a timely update to a very useful book; it should be widely used by lecturers and undergraduates alike. (British Ecological Society Bulletin, 1 December 2012) [An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology, 4th Edition] Stands tall as the textbook to have in the field of Behavioral Ecology...I expect anyone with an A level in Biology, or equivalent, or an interest in Zoology without the qualification, could pick this book up and get a lot out of it...What this book is, is good science explained well, I scored higher in my behavioral ecology exam than I did in any other exam in my finals. I wouldn t put that entirely down to this book, but it certainly influenced things. The book is well printed, as you would expect, with great clear photographs used liberally, and a lot of graphs and diagrams. In summary then, if you want to know why animals behave the way they do, why swordtail fish do really have the long tails, why birds sing, why fish shoal under certain circumstances, why well fed parrot females produce more males, and why related long-tailed tits help each other raise young, then this book really is for you. I recommend it wholeheartedly. (The Amateur Naturalist magazine, 1 November 2012) The book opens with a section on Watching and Wondering, capturing the excitement of natural history, that same wonderment that Kruuk describes so well, and then guides the reader through a series of fascinating questions and findings, experiments and field studies... This is clearly good for students wishing to put together presentations for assessments, and extremely useful for lecturers, new and old . . I should say that this is a certainty and future generations will owe this book a considerable debt. (Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 1 October 2012) Among the most influential books in the field of behavioral ecology, An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology certainly stands out to the extent that it has been called a classic textbook. (Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2012) The long-awaited update to a classic in this field is now here, presenting new direc-tions in thinking and addressing burning questions. Richly informed by progress in many other disciplines, such as sensory physiology, genetics and evolutionary theory, it marks the emergence of behav-ioural ecology as a fully fledged discipline .. This is a marvellous book, written in a lucid style. A must-read for those in the field, it is also a cornucopia of new thinking for anyone interested in evolution and behaviour. (Manfred Milinski, Nature, 2012)
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About Nicholas B. Davies

Nicholas B. Davies FRS is Professor of Behavioural Ecology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College. John R. Krebs FRS is Principal of Jesus College and Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, and a member of the House of Lords. Stuart West is Professor of Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford.
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178 ratings
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5 42% (74)
4 39% (70)
3 16% (29)
2 2% (3)
1 1% (2)
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