142 pages, 53 b/w figs, tabs
This is the first book concerning a non-invasive approach to the study of mammalian populations in nature. Frequencies of detectable individual variations (structural, behavioral, acoustic etc.) allow to investigate both intra- populational structure and inter-populational dynamics: the geographical distribution of natural populations, genetic interrelationships between populations as well as in small within-population groups like families, demes, pods etc., and to understand intra-populational changes and phylo-geographic (micro-evolutionary) patterns. Based on studies of individual variation in whales, dolphins, seals (coloration, vibrissae counting, acoustics etc.), the authors analyze the prospects for non-invasive research in all mammalian groups. In individual chapters, a potential for non-invasive studies of color patterns, acoustics, behavior and some structural features is discussed, including hundreds of qualitative variations in nose, ear, tooth, eye and tail morphology, in dermatoglyphics etc. Non-invasive methods for studying the population phenetics (the frequencies of qualitative detectable variations, or phenes, which reflect the genetic characteristics of the population) are set forth. Discrete phenotypic variations in organs are listed systematically for all main groups of mammals.
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