cover of book

Behavioral Mechanisms in Evolutionary Ecology
edited by Leslie A. Real
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Cloth: 978-0-226-70595-8 | Paper: 978-0-226-70597-2
Library of Congress Classification QL751.B346 1994
Dewey Decimal Classification 591.51

The first book-length exploration of behavioral mechanisms in evolutionary ecology, this ambitious volume illuminates long-standing questions about cause-and-effect relations between an animal's behavior and its environment. By focusing on biological mechanisms—the sum of an animal's cognitive, neural, developmental, and hormonal processes—leading researchers demonstrate how the integrated study of animal physiology, cognitive processes, and social interaction can yield an enriched understanding of behavior.

With studies of species ranging from insects to primates, the contributors examine how various animals identify and use environmental resources and deal with ecological constraints, as well as the roles of learning, communication, and cognitive aspects of social interaction in behavioral evolution. Taken together, the chapters demonstrate how the study of internal mechanistic foundations of behavior in relation to their ecological and evolutionary contexts and outcomes provides valuable insight into such behaviors as predation, mating, and dispersal.

Behavioral Mechanisms in Evolutionary Ecology shows how a mechanistic approach unites various levels of biological organization to provide a broader understanding of the biological bases of behavioral evolution.

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