Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

Figures, Boxes, and Table

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pp. ix-xii

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Acknowledgments

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p. xiii

The first person we want to thank is Peter Marler, who as our postdoctoral advisor taught each of us much of what we know about animal communication. W. A. S. also thanks Gordon Orians, for teaching him how to think in the context of natural selection, and Sievert Rohwer, for discussing a surprising proportion of the issues covered here, too many years ago to be comfortable to remember. S. N. thanks Ben Dane and Ken Armitage for instilling in him his interest in animal..

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1 Introduction

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pp. 1-23

Whether signals are reliable or deceptive has been a central question in the study of animal communication in recent years. The crux of the issue is whether animal signals are honest, in the sense of conveying reliable information from signaler to receiver, or deceitful, in the sense of conveying unreliable information, the falsity of which somehow benefits the signaler. This issue arises in a variety of contexts. When a male courts a female, do his signals honestly convey his quality relative to other males? Or does he exaggerate his quality in order to win...

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2 Signaling When Interests Overlap

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pp. 24-77

The interests of two individuals overlap in an evolutionary sense when the fitness of one depends, at least in part, on the fitness of the other. Such a positive fitness relation occurs whenever two individuals are genetically related; because they share genes, the overall success of one relative’s genes depends to some extent on the success of the other’s. Additional causes of convergent interests are possible, for example...

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3 Signaling When Interests Diverge

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pp. 78-133

This chapter concerns mating signals, those signals used by individuals of one sex to attract individuals of the other sex with the goal of inducing them to mate. In most mating systems, one sex does the bulk of the signaling, or “advertisement,” while the other sex exercises choice among the signalers. A large literature exists that seeks, with considerable success, to explain why it is usually males that signal and females that choose (Bateman 1948, Trivers 1972, Clutton-Brock...

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4 Signaling When Interests Oppose

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pp. 134-180

When two unrelated animals compete for some resource, generally speaking one must win and the other lose—one will get the food, the mate, or the territory, and the other will not. A given outcome will benefit the winner and harm the loser, and in that sense the interests of the two are diametrically opposed. But it may be better for both contestants to settle the contest by signaling rather than by fighting, and therefore it is not surprising that a great deal of communication occurs...

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5 Honesty and Deception in Communication Networks

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pp. 181-206

Our analysis of honesty and deception thus far has taken as its starting point an implied view of communication as a fundamentally dyadic interaction, with a sender and a receiver that may differ in their evolutionary interests, but which nonetheless interact with each other independently of the influences of other actors. This dyadic view of communication has provided an appropriate platform for our discussion, for two reasons. First, viewing communication as a dyadic interaction has...

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6 Conclusions

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pp. 207-224

From what we know about how natural selection works, we can assume that animals will produce signals only if doing so increases their own fitness. Similarly, we can assume that receivers will respond to signals only if doing so increases their fitness. The sole value of a signal to a receiver is as a source of information, information that it uses in choosing the behavioral, physiological, or developmental responses that will maximize its fitness. The set of responses that is...

References

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pp. 225-256

Author Index

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pp. 257-261

Subject Index

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pp. 262-269