An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology 3rd Edition

An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology 3rd Edition
Author: J.R. Krebs & N.B. Davies
Release at: 1993
Pages: 437
Edition: 3rd Edition
Language: English

Description of An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology 3rd Edition

An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology 3rd Edition by J.R. Krebs & N.B. Davies is a great book for Behavioral ecology, for study. This brief introduction describes the organization and contents of our book. The book is about the survival value of behaviour. We call this subject 'behavioural ecology' because the way in which behaviour contributes to survival and reproduction depends on ecology. If, for example, we want to answer the question 'How does living in a group contribute to an individual's survival?', we have to start thinking in terms of the animal's ecology; the kind of food it eats, its enemies, its nesting requirements and so on. These ecological pressures will determine whether grouping is favoured or penalized by selection. Behavioural ecology is not only concerned with the animal's struggle to survive by exploiting resources and avoiding predators, but also with how behaviour contributes to reproductive success. Much of the book is therefore about competition between individuals for the chance to reproduce and pass on their genes to future generations.

The book emphasizes the theoretical background to each subject discussed, but we prefer to illustrate the theory with examples after a very brief general introduction, rather than developing long, abstract, theoretical arguments. Although none of the ideas we have used are difficult to understand we have placed some of the more complicated arguments and details in boxes which can be ignored if the reader is in a hurry.

Finally a word about the style of presentation. We generally use convenient and informal shorthand rather than traditional formal scientific style. A phrase such as 'Offspring are selected to demand more food than the parent wants to give' is short for 'During the course of evolution selection acting on genetic differences in the begging behaviour of offspring will have favoured an increase in the intensity of begging. This increase will have been favoured to the extent where the level of begging by any individual offspring exceeds the optimum level for the parent'.

Content of An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology 3rd Edition

Chapter 1: Natural Selection, Ecology and Behaviour

Chapter 2: Testing Hypotheses in Behavioural Ecology

Chapter 3: Economic Decisions and the Individual

Chapter 4: Predators versus Prey: Evolutionary Arms Races

Chapter 5: Competing for Resources

Chapter 6: Living in Groups

Chapter 7: Fighting and Assessment

Chapter 8: Sexual Conflict and Sexual Selection

Chapter 9: Parental Care and Mating Systems

Chapter 10: Alternative Breeding Strategies

Chapter 11: Co-operation and Helping in Birds, Mammals and Fish

Chapter 12: Altruism in the Social Insects

Chapter 13: The Design of Signals: Ecology and Evolution

Chapter 14: Conclusion


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