By: Martin H Moynihan
158 pages, 14 line illus
Virtually every encounter between individual animals is characterized by some degree of hospitality or fear. But one cannot perpetually fight or flee. Animals find it advantageous to control their hostile urges through an array of strategies and tactics. This book uses a wide array of comparative studies to detail the diversity, mechanics, and evolutionary origins of the means by which animals keep their aggression in check. Moynihan follows birds, primates, and cephalapods in their natural settings, analyzing not only such simple behaviours as habituation and retreat but also more intricate interactions such as redirection attacks, excluding other animals from opportunities, leaving scent marks, and engaging in dominance relationships. Preoccupied primarily by evolutionary theory, behavioural ecologists have tended to focus on the advantage that long-term strategies confer, giving little attention to the day-to-day mechanics and pragmatic effects that the specific tactics have on the survival and reproductive success of many species. This book is a valuable contribution to bringing observation back into the repertoire of the behavourial ecologist.
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