This print-on-demand reprint is part of Harvard University Press's E-ditions programme that is making available in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The Acoustic Sense of Animals was originally published in 1983.
This immensely readable introduction to animal acoustics explains not only how animals hear but why they listen. It is a unique blend of audition, auditory anatomy, physics of sound, and methods of psychophysics, combined with behaviour, natural history, and evolution. The Acoustic Sense of Animals is ideal for graduate and undergraduate courses, and for professionals in fields such as sensory physiology and animal behaviour.
In his broadly comparative approach, William C. Stebbins explores the function of hearing for each animal in its particular ecological setting and the significance of communication for members of a species. He renders the evolution of hearing with special emphasis on the peripheral auditory system and basic auditory function. Although ample evidence is brought to bear, both from the laboratory and from field studies, the book is not burdened with excessive detail. The writing is crisp, and the references are tailored to those most useful for non-specialists.
The Acoustic Sense of Animals covers a complex field with balance and clarity within a solid evolutionary framework. Equally important, it conveys the controversy and excitement that will motivate students.
William C. Stebbins was a Professor of Psychology and Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Michigan.