A reprint of a classical work in the Princeton Legacy Library. Originally published in 1997.
Covering the behavior and ecology of the northern fur seal, Behavior and Ecology of the Northern Fur Seal is a model long-term study of marine mammals, one that tests theory through both observation of undisturbed behavior and manipulative experiments on individuals. Here Roger Gentry draws on nearly two decades of research on three different islands to show how behavior among these seals changes with population size, sex ratio, and environment, to explain the behavior of the population beginning with individuals, and to generalize the results to other members of the eared seal family. In so doing, he offers one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind on any marine mammal species to date.
Gentry shows that the species is driven by very different behavioral traits than have been assumed for it in the past. His book analyzes behavior on scales of hours to lifetimes, investigates the mating system, considers processes that underlie the mating system (site fidelity, behavioral estrus, and the development of territoriality), and addresses specific aspects of maternal strategy (female attendance behavior, pup growth, seasonal influences, and the effects of continental shelf width). Gentry contributes to knowledge about marine mammals by providing a very specific basis for interspecies comparisons, and he suggests a link between population trend and environmental regime shifts. He also guides the debate over seal mating systems from an interpretive to an empirical or experimental basis.
"This book is a major scientific contribution to the fields of pinniped and behavioral ecology [...] The book is very readable, yet it contains an enormous amount of detailed information [...] [I]t should be on the list of any well-rounded biological scientist."
– The Quarterly Review of Biology
List of Contributors
Pt. 1. Behavior at the Population Level
Ch. 1. Introduction
Ch. 2. Population Changes, 1974 to 1986
Ch. 3. Temporal Factors in Behavior
Pt. 2. The Mating System
Ch. 4. Behavior of Adult Males
Ch. 5. Male-Female Associations
Ch. 6. Behavior of Adult Females
Pt. 3. Processes Fundamental to the Mating System
Ch. 7. Site Fidelity and Philopatry
Ch. 8. Estrus and Estrous Behavior
By Roger L. Gentry, John R. Holt, Carolyn B. Heath
Ch. 9. Ontogeny of Male Territorial Behavior
Pt. 4. The Maternal Strategy
Ch. 10. Female Attendance Behavior
Ch. 11. Neonatal Growth and Behavior
By Roger L. Gentry, Michael E. Goebel, John Calambokidis
Ch. 12. Female Foraging Behavior: Inter- and Intra-Annual Variation in Individuals
By Roger L. Gentry, Michael E. Goebel
Ch. 13. Female Foraging Behavior: Effects of Continental Shelf Width
By Roger L. Gentry, Mark O. Pierson, Valery A. Vladimirov
Pt. 5. Summary, Comparisons, and Conclusions
Ch. 14. Synthesis
Ch. 15. Implications for Otariid Studies
Appendix. Scientific and Common Names of Species Referred to in This Work
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