Books  Animal & General Biology  Animal & General Biology 

Evolutionary Perspectives on Pregnancy

By: John C Avise (Author)

326 pages, b/w illustrations, tables

Columbia University Press

Hardback | Jan 2013 | #198802 | ISBN-13: 9780231160605
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $67/€61 approx

About this book

Covering both the internal and external incubation of offspring, Evolutionary Perspectives on Pregnancy provides a biology-rich survey of the natural history, ecology, genetics, and evolution of pregnancy-like phenomena. From mammals and other live-bearing organisms to viviparous reptiles, male-pregnant fishes, larval-brooding worms, crabs, sea cucumbers, and corals, the world's various species display pregnancy and other forms of parental devotion in surprisingly multifaceted ways. An adult female (or male) can incubate its offspring in a womb, stomach, mouth, vocal sac, gill chamber, epithelial pouch, backpack, leg pocket, nest, or an encasing of embryos, and by studying these diverse examples from a comparative vantage point, the ecological and evolutionary-genetic outcomes of different reproductive models become fascinatingly clear.

John C. Avise discusses each mode of pregnancy and the decipherable genetic signatures it has left on the reproductive structures, physiologies, and innate sexual behaviors of extant species. By considering the many biological aspects of gestation from different evolutionary angles, Avise offers captivating new insights into the significance of "heavy" parental investment in progeny.

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John C. Avise is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Having pioneered and popularized molecular approaches in ecology, natural history, and evolutionary genetics, he has received national and international awards for career contributions to ornithology, molecular ecology, biogeography, marine biology, and wildlife conservation. His most recent book with Columbia University Press is Hermaphroditism: A Primer on the Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Dual Sexuality.

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