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About this book
About this book
Animals may be careful in their choice of mates for a variety of reasons. The ideal mate may have to hold valuable resources as well as being highly fertile or fecund. As likely as not, it should be neither too closely related nor too distantly related, and it should be maximally attractive. All these aspects of a member of the opposite sex may influence how many descendants the pair could produce, but the importance of each will usually depend on the sex and the species of the individual making the choice. This book brings together modern thinking on the various functions of mate choice and its role in evolution. The ways in which finely tuned preferences for a particular member of the opposite sex develop are described, as is the importance of compatibility between mates in long-lived species. Finally, the book deals with the underlying mechanisms and the decision rules involved in choosing a mate. The different approaches of the authors combine to make an excellent overview of an attractive and fascinating topic. The book is particularly directed at students, teachers, and research workers, who are interested in evolution and behaviour, but the surveys it contains will be of considerable use to others whose main field of interest is in the social sciences.
List of contributors; Preface Patrick Bateson; Part I. Introduction: 1. The study of mate choice T. R. Halliday; 2. Monogamy: an ambiguous concept Wolfgang Wickler and Uta Seibt; Part II. Characteristics of Sexual Selection: 3. Sexual selection by female choice Peter O'Donald; 4. Sexual selection: the interface of theory and empiricism Stevan J. Arnold; 5. Leks and mate choice Jack W. Bradbury and Robert M. Gibson; Part III. Sex Differences in Chosiness: 6. Mate quality and mating decisions G. A. Parker; 7. Mate choice in role-reversed species Marion Petrie; 8. Male-mate competition and mate choice in anuran amphibians Anthony Arak; 9. Mate choice in the European Rabbit Diana J. Bell; Part IV. Non-Random Mating: 10. Non-random mating and offspring fitness Linda Partridge; 11. Optimal outbreeding Patrick Bateson; 12. Assortative mating, mate choice and reproductive fitness in Snow Geese F. Cooke and J. C. Davies; 13. Mate choice in the Mallard Diane M. Williams; 14. Early experience and sexual preferences in rodents Bruno D'udine and Enrico Alleva; Part V. Compatibility of Mates: 15. Re-mating in birds Ian Rowley; 16. Mate choice in the Kittiwake Gull J. C. Coulson and C. S. Thomas; 17. Mate choice in humans as an interpersonal process Steve Duck and Dorothy Miell; Part VI. Hormonal Mechanisms: 18. Hormonal mechanisms of mate choice in birds J. B. Hutchison and R. E. Hutchison; 19. Endocrine determinants and constraints on sexual behaviour in monkeys Eric B. Keverne; Part VII. Decision Rules: 20. Life history tactics and alternative strategies of reproduction R. I. M. Dunbar; 21. Tactics of mate choice James F. Wittenberger; Index.