Monograph on the mating systems of the dunnock or hedge sparrow/accentor Prunella modularis. Using detailed field observations and DNA fingerprinting techniques, the author describes the variable social organisation of the species, and how it arises from selfish individuals competing to maximize their own reproductive success.
"The organization and integration of these topics makes the book useful even to those familiar with his work. It should be particularly instructive for students, because the work addresses questions typical of the general field of behavioral ecology and demonstrates the value of combining experiment and description." --Nature
"Davies' ten-year study combines theory and field observation to examine basic questions in behavioral ecology and sociobiology. His unifying theme is the relationship between gender roles and conflicts, mating systems, and parental care, which assure an adequate supply of baby dunnocks for future generations. Must reading for behavioral scientists." --Choice
"Davies summarizes a decade of work analyzing how the different mating systems of dunnocks arise and their social and reproductive consequences . . . . Provides an engaging introduction to current questions about the evolution of mating systems, a model of what can be achieved by a judicious blend o
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