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The Evolution of Animal Communication: Reliability and Deception in Signaling Systems

Reliability and Deception in Signaling Systems

William A. Searcy

Gull chicks beg for food from their parents. Peacocks spread their tails to attract potential mates. Meerkats alert family members of the approach of predators. But are these--and other animals--sometimes dishonest? That's what William Searcy and Stephen Nowicki ask in The Evolution of Animal Communication. They take on the fascinating yet perplexing question of the dependability of animal signaling systems.

The book probes such phenomena as the begging of nesting birds, alarm calls in squirrels and primates, carotenoid coloration in fish and birds, the calls of frogs and toads, and weapon displays in crustaceans. Do these signals convey accurate information about the signaler, its future behavior, or its environment? Or do they mislead receivers in a way that benefits the signaler? For example, is the begging chick really hungry as its cries indicate or is it lobbying to get more food than its brothers and sisters?

Searcy and Nowicki take on these and other questions by developing clear definitions of key issues, by reviewing the most relevant empirical data and game theory models available, and by asking how well theory matches data. They find that animal communication is largely reliable--but that this basic reliability also allows the clever deceiver to flourish. Well researched and clearly written, their book provides new insight into animal communication, behavior, and evolution.

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Evolution of Death, The

Why We Are Living Longer

In The Evolution of Death, the follow-up to Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy, also published by SUNY Press, Stanley Shostak argues that death, like life, can evolve. Observing that literature, philosophy, religion, genetics, physics, and gerontology still struggle to explain why we die, Shostak explores the mystery of death from a biological perspective. Death, Shostak claims, is not the end of a linear journey, static and indifferent to change. Instead, he suggests, the current efforts to live longer have profoundly affected our ecological niche, and we are evolving into a long-lived species. Pointing to the artificial means currently used to prolong life, he argues that as we become increasingly juvenilized in our adult life, death will become significantly and evolutionarily delayed. As bodies evolve, the embryos of succeeding generations may be accumulating the stem cells that preserve and restore, providing the resources necessary to live longer and longer. If trends like this continue, Shostak contends, future human beings may join the ranks of other animals with indefinite life spans.

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The Evolution of Individuality

Leo W. Buss

Leo Buss expounds a general theory of development through a simple hierarchical extension of the synthetic theory of evolution. He perceives innovations in development to have evolved in ancestral organisms where the germ line was not closed to genetic variation arising during the course of ontogeny.

Originally published in 1988.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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The Evolution of Obesity

Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin

In this sweeping exploration of the relatively recent obesity epidemic, Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin probe evolutionary biology, history, physiology, and medical science to uncover the causes of our growing girth. The unexpected answer? Our own evolutionary success. For most of the past few million years, our evolutionary ancestors' survival depended on being able to consume as much as possible when food was available and to store the excess energy for periods when it was scarce. In the developed world today, high-calorie foods are readily obtainable, yet the propensity to store fat is part of our species' heritage, leaving an increasing number of the world's people vulnerable to obesity. In an environment of abundant food, we are anatomically, physiologically, metabolically, and behaviorally programmed in a way that makes it difficult for us to avoid gaining weight. Power and Schulkin’s engagingly argued book draws on popular examples and sound science to explain our expanding waistlines and to discuss the consequences of being overweight for different demographic groups. They review the various studies of human and animal fat use and storage, including those that examine fat deposition and metabolism in men and women; chronicle cultural differences in food procurement, preparation, and consumption; and consider the influence of sedentary occupations and lifestyles. A compelling and comprehensive examination of the causes and consequences of the obesity epidemic, The Evolution of Obesity offers fascinating insights into the question, Why are we getting fatter?

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The Evolution of the Human Placenta

Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin

The development of a fully functional placenta was crucial to the evolution of human beings. It is the active interface of the most biologically intimate connection between two living organisms: a mother and her fetus. The Evolution of the Human Placenta discusses everything from the organ’s methods of protecting the fetus from the mother’s own immune system to placental diseases. Starting with some of the earliest events that have constrained or influenced the path of placental evolution in mammals and progressing to the specifics of the human placenta, this book examines modern gestation within an evolutionary framework. Human beings, in terms of evolution, are a successful, rapidly multiplying species. Our reproductive physiology would appear to be functioning quite well. However, human gestation is fraught with many poor outcomes for both the mother and fetus that appear to be—if not unique—far more common in humans than in other mammals. High rates of early pregnancy loss, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, preeclampsia and related maternal hypertension, and preterm birth are rare or absent in other mammals yet quite typical in humans. Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin explore more than 100 million years of evolution that led to the human placenta, and in so doing, they help unravel the mysteries of life's earliest moments.

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Exploring Animal Social Networks

Darren P. Croft

Social network analysis is used widely in the social sciences to study interactions among people, groups, and organizations, yet until now there has been no book that shows behavioral biologists how to apply it to their work on animal populations. Exploring Animal Social Networks provides a practical guide for researchers, undergraduates, and graduate students in ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and zoology.

Existing methods for studying animal social structure focus either on one animal and its interactions or on the average properties of a whole population. This book enables researchers to probe animal social structure at all levels, from the individual to the population. No prior knowledge of network theory is assumed. The authors give a step-by-step introduction to the different procedures and offer ideas for designing studies, collecting data, and interpreting results. They examine some of today's most sophisticated statistical tools for social network analysis and show how they can be used to study social interactions in animals, including cetaceans, ungulates, primates, insects, and fish. Drawing from an array of techniques, the authors explore how network structures influence individual behavior and how this in turn influences, and is influenced by, behavior at the population level. Throughout, the authors use two software packages--UCINET and NETDRAW--to illustrate how these powerful analytical tools can be applied to different animal social organizations.

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Facial Growth in the Rhesus Monkey

A Longitudinal Cephalometric Study

Emet D. Schneiderman

For a wide spectrum of scientists from biomedical and dental researchers to primatologists and physical anthropologists, Emet Schneiderman offers the most accurate and up-to-date presentation of the normal growth of the lower facial skeleton in a primate species. His study is based on a sample of thirty-five captive rhesus monkeys, whose facial growth was traced over a ten-year period spanning from infancy to adulthood. The author identifies the relative contribution of various sites of growth, quantifies the relative roles of different types of development--such as appositional and condylar--and sheds light on several long-standing controversies as to how the primate face grows. Unlike many of the traditional cephalometric measurements, the ones included in this work were chosen to reflect the positional, dimensional, and localized remodeling changes that occur during ontogeny. Using a new statistical approach designed for longitudinal data, Schneiderman avoids the misleading information that has often resulted from older, cross-sectional statistical methods. This book serves as a foundation for future experimental and normal studies in the rhesus monkey and, from a methodological standpoint, as a general model for future longitudinal growth studies.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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"Fear God and Walk Humbly"

The Agricultural Journal of James Mallory, 1843-1877

James Mallory was an uncommon Southerner. Most inhabitants of the Old South, especially the plain folk, devoted more time to leisurely activities--drinking, gambling, hunting, fishing, and just loafing--than did Mallory, a workaholic agriculturalist, who experimented with new plants, orchards, and manures, as well as the latest farming equipment and techniques. A Whig and a Unionist, a temperance man and a peace lover, ambitious yet caring, business-minded and progressive, he supported railroad construction as well as formal education, even for girls. His cotton production--four bales per field hand in 1850, nearly twice the average for the best cotton lands in southern Alabama and Georgia--tells more about Mallory's steady work habits than about his class status.

But his most obvious eccentricity--what gave him reason to be remembered--was that nearly every day from 1843 until his death in 1877, Mallory kept a detailed journal of local, national, and often foreign news, agricultural activities, the weather, and especially events involving his family, relatives, slaves, and neighbors in Talladega County, Alabama.

Mallory's journal spans three major periods of the South's history--the boom years before the Civil War, the rise and collapse of the Confederacy, and the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War. He owned slaves and raised cotton, but Mallory was never more than a hardworking farmer, who described agriculture in poetical language as "the greatest [interest] of all."

 

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Ferns

Robert H. Mohlenbrock

Perhaps no other group of plants attracts more interest among both professional and amateur botanists than ferns. As early as 1846, when one of the first lists of Illinois plants was published, sixteen species of ferns were already known in the state. The longtime interest of a great many people makes the distribution of ferns better known than that of any other group of plants in Illinois.

This detailed account of ferns and fern-allies was first published in 1967 as the first volume in the series The Illustrated Flora of Illinois. Eminent botanist Robert H. Mohlenbrock has now revised Ferns to include twenty-five additional taxa of ferns that have since been discovered in Illinois. In addition, numerous nomenclatural changes have occurred for plants already known in the state.

The introductory information of Ferns includes discussions of the morphology and life history of the ferns and fern-allies, the taxonomic history of the group in Illinois, and the habitats where they can be found.

The semitechnical keys and descriptions, familiar to the professional botanist, have been simplified for the novice and are accompanied by a glossary and a profuse use of illustrations. A new key has been included for the additional ferns. Two general keys enable the reader to identify the order and the genus of the fern or fern-ally in question. One of these is designed for use with specimens that have sporangia; the other is for use with sterile specimens. The keys are composed of a hierarchy of characteristics for determining the order, family, and genus of any given specimen. Once a genus is ascertained, the reader can apply its key to more than one species of the same genus.

Each species has its own description, statement of habitat and range, Illinois distribution, map, discussion, synonymy, and full-page line illustration showing its diagnostic characteristics.

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Fiddler Crabs of the World: Ocypididae: Genus Uca

Jocelyn Crane

Jocelyn Crane presents a survey of the members of the genus Uca, with special reference to their morphology, social behavior, and evolution. Her account is firmly based on numerous field studies along the world's warmer shores and on comparative work in laboratories and museums.

Originally published in 1975.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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