Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution 

Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates: Proximate and Ultimate Causes


Edited By: Reinmar Hager and Clara Jones

523 pages, Figs, tabs, illus

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Aug 2009 | #179576 | ISBN-13: 9780521864091
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Special Offer Price: £51.99 £87.99 (Save £36.00) $73/€59 approx (ends 31/03/2018)

About this book

Reproductive skew is the study of how reproduction is partitioned in animal societies. In many social animals reproduction is shared unequally and leads to a reproductive skew among group members. Skew theory investigates the genetic and ecological factors causal to the partitioning of reproduction in animal groups and may yield fundamental insights into the evolution of animal sociality.

This book brings together new theory and empirical work, mostly in vertebrates, to test assumptions and predictions of skew models. It also gives an updated critical review of skew theory. The team of leading contributors cover a wide range of species, from insects to humans, and discuss both ultimate (evolutionary) and proximate (immediate) factors influencing reproductive skew. Academic researchers and graduate students alike with an interest in evolution and sociality will find this material stimulating and exciting.


1. Models of reproductive skew - outside options and the resolution of reproductive conflict Rufus A. Johnstone and Michael A. Cant;
2. Reproductive conflict and the evolution of menopause Michael A.Cant, Rufus A. Johnstone and Andrew F. Russell;
3. Reproductive skew in female-dominated mammalian societies Kay E. Holekamp and Anne L. Engh;
4. The effects of heterogeneous regimes on reproductive skew in eutherian mammals Clara B. Jones;
5.Social skew as a measure of the costs and benefits of group-living in marmots. Thea B. Wang, Peter Nonacs and Daniel T. Blumstein;
6. Explaining variation in reproductive skew among male langurs: effects of future mating prospects and ecological factors Reinmar Hager;
7. The causes and consequences of reproductive skew in male primates Nobuyuki Kutsukake and Charles L. Nunn;
8. Sociality and reproductive skew in horses and zebras Daniel I. Rubenstein and Cassandra M. Nunez;
9. Reproductive skew in avian societies Walter D. Koenig, Sheng-Feng Shen, Alan H. Krakauer and Joseph Haydock;
10. Reproductive skew in cooperative fish groups: virtue and limitations of alternative modelling approaches Michael Taborsky; 11. Reproductive skew in primitively eusocial wasps: how useful are current models? Jeremy Field and Michael A. Cant;
12. Reproductive skew in female common marmosets: contributions of infanticide and subordinate self-restraint David H. Abbott, Leslie Digby and Wendy Saltzman;
13. Reproductive skew in African mole-rats: behavioural and physiological mechanisms to maintain high skew Chris G. Faulkes and Nigel C. Bennett;
14. The causes of physiological suppression in vertebrate societies: a synthesis Andrew J. Young;
15. Understanding variation in reproductive skew: directions for future empirical research Sarah J. Hodge;
16. On the evolution of reproductive skew: a genetical view W. Edwin Harris and Reinmar Hager;
17. Social conflict resolution, life history, and the reconstruction of skew Bernard J. Crespi.

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Reinmar Hager is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester. He has been awarded University Fellowship by the German Science Foundation and was elected Senior Rouse Ball Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge.

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