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Why Penguins Communicate: The Evolution of Visual and Vocal Signals

By: Pierre Jouventin(Author), F Stephen Dobson(Author)

315 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations

Academic Press

Paperback | Sep 2017 | #238430 | ISBN-13: 9780128111789
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £62.95 $83/€72 approx

About this book

Why Penguins Communicate: The Evolution of Visual and Vocal Signals is a comprehensive and condensed review of several hundred publications on the evolution of penguin behaviours, particularly signalling, linking genetics and ecology via such behavioural adaptations as nuptial displays. This exciting work has developed from the authors' many years researching on the behavioural strategies of penguins, such as the unique vocal signatures for individual recognition. Studies of penguins on islands surrounding Antarctica are presented, fully showcasing the behavioural significance of visual ornaments (mating displays) and how and why penguins behave via adaptive evolutionary explanations.

Through this evolutionary lens, the authors address several questions involving their identification and taxonomy, habitat and location, breeding, and differences between penguins and other seabirds. Each species occupies a unique ecological niche, and behaviours permit separating the species through mutual display.

Although model organisms in science are diverse and specialized, we see the entire integration in penguins, from acoustical and optical physics, to behavioural display and speciation. Why Penguins Communicate highlights the adaptive significance of their behaviour through an evolutionary point-of-view.


1. Evolutionary Biology of Penguins
2. Description of Optical Signals
3. Experiments on Optical Signals
4. Description of Vocal Signals and First Experiments
5. Playback Experiments on Vocal Signals
6. The Evolution of Breeding Strategies
7. The Evolution of Signals for Communication

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Pierre Jouventin is the retired Director of Research, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Montpellier and past Director of CNRS laboratory at Chize (13 years). He has published more than 230 peer reviewed scientific articles, four books (in French); and has made more than 20 research trips to the Antarctic with nearly a decade of collective experience there.

F. Stephen Dobson is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University, as well as retired Director of Research, National Center for Scientific Research, Montpellier; Chevalier, Order of Academic Palms (France); and a Fulbright Scholar. He has published more than 125 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has made six research trips to the sub-Antarctic for penguin studies.

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