328 pages, 4 plates with colour photos; b/w illustrations, tables
The classic literature on predation dealt almost exclusively with solitary predators and their prey. Going back to Lotka-Volterra and optimal foraging theory, the theory about predation, including predator-prey population dynamics, was developed for solitary species. Various consequences of sociality for predators have been considered only recently. Similarly, while it was long recognized that prey species can benefit from living in groups, research on the adaptive value of sociality for prey species mostly emerged in the 1970s.
The main theme of Social Predation is the various ways that predators and prey may benefit from living in groups. The first part focuses on predators and explores how group membership influences predation success rate, from searching to subduing prey. The second part focuses on how prey in groups can detect and escape predators. The final section explores group size and composition and how individuals respond over evolutionary times to the challenges posed by chasing or being chased by animals in groups.
Social Predation will help the reader understand current issues in social predation theory and provide a synthesis of the literature across a broad range of animal taxa. It includes the whole taxonomical range rather than limiting it to a select few. It features in-depth analysis that allows a better understanding of many subtleties surrounding the issues related to social predation. It presents both models and empirical results while covering the extensive predator and prey literature. It contains extensive illustrations and separate boxes that cover more technical features, i.e., to present models and review results.
"This is an excellent introduction to the coevolution of predator-prey relationships, with an extensive bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
– CHOICE Reviews Online, Nov 01 2014
Part A: Predators
Chapter 1: Finding and exploiting food in groups
Chapter 2: Producer-scrounger dynamics
Part B: Prey
Chapter 3: Antipredator ploys
Chapter 4: Antipredator vigilance: Theory and testing the assumptions
Chapter 5: Antipredator vigilance: Detection and the group-size effect
Chapter 6: The selfish herd
Part C: General considerations
Chapter 7: Group size and composition
Chapter 8: Mixed-species groups
Chapter 9: Evolutionary issues
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Guy Beauchamp is a behavioural ecologist specializing on social foraging in birds. He has written over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has been studying sandpipers for the last 10 years. He currently works as a research officer at the Veterinary College of the University of Montréal, Québec, Canada.