Books  Animal & General Biology  Animals: Behaviour 

Comparative Social Evolution

  • Establishes a framework for a common, trait-based approach to social synthesis and the evolution of sociality in animals, allowing any biologist to compare distant or unfamiliar taxonomic groups
  • Highlights key natural and life history data in all the major taxonomic groups of animals in which sociality – cooperative group living – occurs
  • Brings together the biological and ecological commonalities of social species in disparate taxa to reinvigorate comparative approaches to studying animal social evolution

By: Dustin R Rubenstein(Editor), Patrick Abbot(Editor)

484 pages, 34 b/w illustrations, 13 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2017 | #232740 | ISBN-13: 9781107647923
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £44.99 $59/€50 approx
Hardback | Apr 2017 | #232739 | ISBN-13: 9781107043398
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £79.99 $104/€90 approx

About this book

Darwin famously described special difficulties in explaining social evolution in insects. More than a century later, the evolution of sociality – defined broadly as cooperative group living – remains one of the most intriguing problems in biology. Providing a unique perspective on the study of social evolution, Comparative Social Evolution synthesizes the features of animal social life across the principle taxonomic groups in which sociality has evolved. The chapters explore sociality in a range of species, from ants to primates, highlighting key natural and life history data and providing a comparative view across animal societies. In establishing a single framework for a common, trait-based approach towards social synthesis, Comparative Social Evolution will enable graduate students and investigators new to the field to systematically compare taxonomic groups and reinvigorate comparative approaches to studying animal social evolution.


1. Introduction: the evolution of social evolution Dustin R. Rubenstein and Patrick Abbot

Part I. Invertebrates
2. Sociality in ants Jürgen Heinze, Katrina Kellner and Jon Seal
3. Sociality in bees William Wcislo and Jennifer H. Fewell
4. Sociality in wasps James H. Hunt and Amy L. Toth
5. Sociality in termites Judith Korb and Barbara Thorne
6. Sociality in aphids and thrips Patrick Abbot and Tom Chapman
7. Sociality in spiders Leticia Avilés and Jennifer Guevara
8. Sociality in shrimps Kristin Hultgren, J. Emmett Duffy and Dustin R. Rubenstein

Part II. Vertebrates
9. Sociality in primates Joan B. Silk and Peter M. Kappeler
10. Sociality in non-primate mammals Jennifer E. Smith, Eileen A. Lacey and Loren D. Hayes
11. Sociality in birds Andrew Cockburn, Ben J. Hatchwell and Walter D. Koenig
12. Sociality in fishes Michael Taborsky and Marian Wong
13. Sociality in lizards Martin J. Whiting and Geoffrey M. While
14: Conclusion: social synthesis: opportunities for comparative social evolution Dustin R. Rubenstein and Patrick Abbot

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Dustin R. Rubenstein is an Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, New York and Director of the Center for Integrative Animal Behavior. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of sociality and how animals adapt to environmental change. He has been recognized by the US National Academy of Sciences as a Kavli Fellow for his research accomplishments, and as an Education Fellow in the Sciences for his innovation in STEM teaching.

Patrick Abbot is an Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee. His research includes the evolution and ecology of group living invertebrates. He has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Evolution and is a recipient of the Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

- Dustin R. Rubenstein
- Patrick Abbot
- Jürgen Heinze
- Katrina Kellner
- Jon Seal
- William Wcislo
- Jennifer H. Fewell
- James H. Hunt
- Amy L. Toth
- Judith Korb
- Barbara Thorne
- Tom Chapman
- Leticia Avilés
- Jennifer Guevara
- Kristin Hultgren
- J. Emmett Duffy
- Joan B. Silk
- Peter M. Kappeler
- Jennifer E. Smith
- Eileen A. Lacey
- Loren D. Hayes
- Andrew Cockburn
- Ben J. Hatchwell
- Walter D. Koenig
- Michael Taborsky
- Marian Wong
- Martin J. Whiting
- Geoffrey M. While

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