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Living in Groups Paperback – 19 Dec 2002
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... the book does an excellent job of meeting its stated goals, and I recommend it highly. (ISBE Newsletter)
... very well written ... could certainly be used in courses. For researchers active in the area, the book will be of value as a concise summary that has sifted and evaluated many papers. (ISBE Newsletter)
... broad and well-rounded approach makes the book essential reading for graduate students or advanced undergraduates trying to penetrate the enormous primary literature on group living. (ISBE Newsletter)
It's a very nice book and I learned a lot from it. (David Sloan Wilson, Depts of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University, NY)
Living in Groups is highly worthwhile for any biologist interested in the nature of groups. (David Sloan Wilson, Quarterly Review of Biology)
The authors convey an infectious enthusiasm for their subject but are also critical, pointing out the need for both theory and empirical research. Their treatment of parasites in addition to predators as an important influence on groups is especially noteworthy. (David Sloan Wilson, Quarterly Review of Biology)
... was I inspired? Yes, indeed ... would I buy it? My answer is that I had already bought my own copy of Living in Groups" before receiving the evaluation copy. (Animal Behaviour)
This will be the first book that I hand to a new gradute student and I recommend it to all biologists who think about animals that live in groups. (Trends in Ecology and Evolution)
About the Author
Jens Krause is at School of Biology, University of Leeds, UK. Graeme Ruxton is at IBLS, University of Glasgow, UK.
Top customer reviews
"Living in Groups" will appeal to those working in the field of animal behaviour, and it is not aimed at the lay reader, nor is it intended to be an encyclopaedia of grouping animals species. The reader is guided to the more specialised literature for further reading on certain topics with thirty pages of references.
Readers will learn a great deal about aspects of grouping and many interesting questions that have still to be addressed. The authors believe that our understanding of the nature of grouping in animals can be greatly improved and their warm concluding remark invites the reader to "join us in this research endeavour, and help make this book out of date!"
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Many (I mean, many) of the examples come from fish research, so, if you are looking for bibliography compilation about mammals, this may not be the book for you. However, all the general theory about the benefits and costs of grouping, the size of the group, group conformation, etc, are definitely clearly summarized AND critically synthesized.
“Living in Groups” will familiarise the reader with current ideas on the ecology and evolution of group-living animals, and selected case studies illustrate how these ideas and concepts are applied to actual systems. The biggest chapter looks at the benefits of group formation, highlighting anti-predator strategies. Grouping as a means of detecting approaching predators is known as the classical “many eyes” theory, enabling groups to spot predators more effectively and is widely known as a concept, yet safety in numbers (dilution of risk) and information transfer between individuals are equally important points. These hypotheses are looked at in detail and found to be more complicated and closely related than they first appear, as attack abatement is the result of the joint action of “encounter-dilution” and “many-eyes”. Further benefits of grouping include defence against parasites (horses); communual defence (lions); foraging benefits and group hunting (African wild dogs); finding a mate (lekking behaviour); keeping warm (mice); and travelling more efficiently in air (pelicans); on water (ducklings) and under water (fish).
Further chapters look at costs to grouping such as increased attack rate on larger groups; the mechanisms that govern the evolution and maintenance of grouping behaviour throughout the animal kingdom, and the factors that control group size and group composition in particular situations. The authors discuss the theory of assortativeness; predator preference for “odd” prey, and environmental effects on grouping behaviour, such as desert locust behavioural changes induced by crowding.
“Living in Groups” will appeal to those working in the field of animal behaviour, and it is not aimed at the lay reader, nor is it intended to be an encyclopaedia of grouping animals species. The reader is guided to the more specialised literature for further reading on certain topics with thirty pages of references.
Readers will learn a great deal about aspects of grouping and many interesting questions that have still to be addressed. The authors believe that our understanding of the nature of grouping in animals can be greatly improved and their warm concluding remark invites the reader to “join us in this research endeavour, and help make this book out of date!”
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