There are more than 6000 species belonging to twenty-seven orders in the Class Mammalia. Comparative studies of this diverse and magnificent array of extant species provide valuable opportunities to formulate and test hypotheses concerning the evolution of reproduction. This is the first book to explore, in depth and breadth, the complex interrelationships that exist between patterns of mating behaviour and the evolution of mammalian reproductive anatomy and physiology. It focuses upon the role that copulatory and post-copulatory sexual selection have played during the evolution of the monotremes, marsupials and placental mammals, and examines the effects of sperm competition and cryptic female choice upon coevolution of the genitalia in the two sexes. In addition, due weight is also given to discussions of the modes of life of mammals, and to the roles played by natural selection and phylogeny in determining their reproductive traits.
Part I. Carnival of the Animals:
1. Quo Vadis?
2. Mammalian classification and evolution
Part II. The Act of Mating:
3. Copulatory patterns: phylogeny and modes of life
4. Copulatory interactions and sexual selection
Part III. The Evolution of Reproduction:
5. Phallic structure and function
6. The testes and spermatozoa
7. The accessory reproductive glands and ducts
8. Cooperation, conflict, and cryptic female choice
9. The evolution of mating-induced and spontaneous ovulation
Part IV. Epilogue:
10. An end of day glass
Alan F. Dixson is a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research has involved comparative studies of reproductive biology and the evolution of sexuality in primates and other mammals. During a distinguished career, he has held posts at the Zoological Society of London (1976–1983), Medical Research Council UK (1983–1999), International Medical Research Centre in Gabon (1989–1992), Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge (1993–1998) and was Director of Conservation and Science at the Zoological Society of San Diego in the USA (1999–2005). He has authored, or co-authored, more than 160 papers and books, including The Mandrill: A Case of Extreme Sexual Selection (Cambridge, 2015).
"Rarely have I seen a book by a single author that is as comprehensive as this one on mammalian sexuality. One unusual aspect of the text is that the author discusses, clearly and with apparent ease, everything from how aspects of anatomy have developed in tandem with mating behaviour, to detailed discussions of the latest research on sperm transport and its genomic responses within the female reproductive tract. The author provides very clear explanations of important mechanisms such as sperm competition and cryptic female choice, referring to multiple species, many of which will be unfamiliar even to experienced readers. In this sense, the book presents a treasure trove of examples against which to understand comparative reproductive biology. As an impressive bonus the book also contains many of the author's own original drawings of animals and specific anatomical details, which he used to illustrate his points very skilfully."
– William V. Holt, University of Sheffield, UK
"This excellent, beautifully illustrated book – a magnum opus – is the definitive work on the comparative zoology of mating and reproductive strategies in mammals. Essentially an evolutionary perspective, it is an invaluable and absorbingly readable monograph for evolutionary biologists, zoologists, mammalogists, and reproductive biologists, particularly those interested in post-copulatory sexual selection. It gathers together vast amounts of information, formerly widely-dispersed throughout the literature, into a coherent and fascinating whole, outlining how selection has shaped mammalian mating patterns, genitalia, accessory glands, testes, sperm cells, and reproductive tracts, including the complex coevolution of male and female behaviour and anatomy."
– Geoff A. Parker, Emeritus Professor of Zoology, University of Liverpool, UK
"Mammalian Sexuality fills an important niche and is unlike other works in its sheer scope – it covers an impressively broad swath of mammalian species. Alan Dixson's decades of research and scholarship on this topic have enabled him to amass a wealth of information in this new text, which includes classic studies and newer research on mammalian sexual behavior, reproductive anatomy and physiology. This book will serve as an essential reference to researchers of mammalian reproduction. I recommend it to anyone interested in animal reproduction, especially those interested in how sexual selection has shaped copulatory behavior and reproductive anatomy, and to all who endeavor to answer the fascinating questions about mammalian reproduction that still remain."
– Joyce A. Parga, California State University, Los Angeles, USA
"A comprehensive comparative study of the diversity of mammalian reproductive traits. Yet this book goes beyond just facts, but also addresses major proximate and ultimate questions in the evolution of the morphology, physiology, and behavioural adaptations of mammals. An amazing resource for anyone studying sexual selection and reproductive biology."
– Jane Waterman, University of Manitoba, Canada