Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach

John Alcock, Arizona State University
John Alcock, Arizona State University

Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach

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Description

Published in February 2013, this new edition of Animal Behavior has been thoroughly rewritten with coverage of much recent work in animal behavior. The scope of the changes for the Tenth Edition, however, is much more all-encompassing than that of past revisions. Thoughtful suggestions from many readers inspired a major reorganization of the material, such that the new book presents the central concepts of animal behavior in a...

Published in February 2013, this new edition of Animal Behavior has been thoroughly rewritten with coverage of much recent work in animal behavior. The scope of the changes for the Tenth Edition, however, is much more all-encompassing than that of past revisions. Thoughtful suggestions from many readers inspired a major reorganization of the material, such that the new book presents the central concepts of animal behavior in a different sequence from prior editions:

The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Instead of introducing the concept of proximate and ultimate causation and then focusing heavily on the proximate mechanisms of behavior in the early chapters, this edition focuses first on the evolutionary basis of behavior. Chapter 1 presents the concept of a Darwinian puzzle, a trait that exists even though it seems to reduce the reproductive success of individuals, in which case it should have been eliminated by natural selection. The emphasis on Darwinian puzzles continues, with an in-depth discussion of the evolution of altruism in Chapter 2 (versus Chapter 14) and subsequent exploration of the adaptive value of a broad range of traits from anti-predator activities to reproductive and parental behaviors.

The Distinction between Proximate and Ultimate Causation in Biology. Once the major findings of behavioral ecology have been examined, the book turns its attention to the proximate mechanisms underlying animal behavior. Here, too, the emphasis remains on the evolutionary puzzles provided by particular developmental and neurophysiological mechanisms. This approach provides continuity with earlier chapters while helping readers see the connections between adaptive behaviors and the adaptive internal systems that make those behaviors possible.

The Procedures That Scientists Use to Test Their Tentative Explanations for Such Things as Darwinian Puzzles. Throughout, the text shows how researchers use scientific logic to study the underlying mechanisms and the evolutionary bases of behavior. The emphasis is on how evolutionary theory unifies the various subdisciplines within animal behavior. These points are highlighted again in the final chapter on human behavior, with its treatment of the proximate and ultimate causes of language and the evolution of mate choice in our species.

Enduring features of prior editions remain evident in this new book: the clear, engaging writing style; text beautifully illustrated with many new photographs; references to a large number of new scientific articles; and a substantial number of new and old discussion questions embedded in the text.

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John Alcock is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Biology at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University under the direction of Ernst Mayr. His research deals with the behavioral ecology of insect mating systems, with projects that have taken him from Arizona to Costa Rica and Australia. He wrote The Triumph of Sociobiology (2001) and coauthored The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems (1983) with Randy Thornhill. Alcock has also written seven other books on animal behavior and natural history for general audiences. One of these, In a Desert Garden, received the Burroughs’ Award for natural history writing in 1998. Dr. Alcock also received the Dean’s Quality Teaching Award the first year it was given at Arizona State University.

“The tenth edition talks about behavioral ecology early and often … . I commend this conceptual shift and the overall bold revision of a classic textbook. It would have been adequate to simply sprinkle in new studies within the existing framework, so the changes seem to reflect a heartfelt desire of Alcock to make an excellent volume even better. This is clearly a labor of love and has a strong personal flavor for a textbook. … As in previous editions, the narrative is powered by Alcock's infectious desire to present science, evolution, and behavior clearly and memorably. I recommend this volume to all students of animal behavior. It is a great place to first discover the field, or to rediscover the big picture after years of work within the field.”
—Peter A. Bednekoff, The Quarterly Review of Biology

“I absolutely love this book. I have become a great fan of John Alcock. His discussions within the chapter are extremely gripping and I love his approach connecting all aspects of the genetics, environment, and evolution to the animal’s behavior. Kudos!”
—Madeline Mignone, Dominican College

For the Instructor (Available to Qualified Adopters)

Available to qualified adopters of Animal Behavior, the Tenth Edition Instructor’s Resource Library contains a variety of teaching and laboratory resources. The IRL includes the following:

Textbook Figures & Tables All of the textbook’s figures (art and photographs) and tables are provided in both JPEG (high- and low-resolution) and PowerPoint® formats. All of the images have been formatted and optimized for excellent projection quality.

Animal Behavior Video Collection This collection of video segments brings to life many of the specific behaviors discussed in the textbook. Compiled from the collection of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library and from many individual researchers, these clips are great for use in class. The segments are short and easy to incorporate into lectures. All segments are provided as QuickTime movies and in ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations.

Teaching Animal Behavior: An Instructor’s Manual to Accompany Animal Behavior, Tenth Edition
Teaching Animal Behavior offers instructors several resources to facilitate the preparation of lectures, quizzes, and exams. Contents include:

  • Answers to the discussion questions presented in the textbook
  • Sample quiz questions and answers
  • Sample exam questions and answers
  • Descriptions to accompany the collection of animal behavior videos
  • A listing of films on animal behavior for use in the classroom

Learning the Skills of Research: Animal Behavior Exercises in the Laboratory and Field
Edited by Elizabeth M. Jakob and Margaret Hodge

Students learn best about the process of science by carrying out projects from start to finish. Animal behavior laboratory classes are particularly well-suited for independent student research, as high-quality projects can be conducted with simple materials and in a variety of environments. The exercises in this electronic lab manual are geared to helping students learn about all stages of the scientific process: hypothesis development, observing and quantifying animal behavior, statistical analysis, and data presentation. Additional exercises allow the students to practice these skills, with topics ranging from habitat selection in isopods to human navigation. Both student and instructor documentation is provided. Data sheets and other supplementary material are offered in editable formats that instructors can modify as desired.

If you have adopted this text for course use (within the U.S. or Canada) and are interested in the instructor’s supplements that accompany the text, please contact Linda VandenDolder, [email protected]. Outside the U.S. or Canada? Check the orders and returns page for the distributor in your region.

Available Product Bundles

Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach Exploring Animal Behavior: Readings from <em>American Scientist</em> $119.61
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Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach and Exploring Animal Behavior: Readings from American Scientist for $101.67 (Suggested List Price: $119.61)