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Animal Behavior

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  226 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Following the theory of natural selection and how scientific logic promotes effective thinking, this textbook examines the evolution of feeding behavior, communication, mating systems, parental care, and social behavior in both invertebrates and vertebrates. The eighth edition combines the two chapters on the genetic and environmental influences on development. Annotation ...more
Paperback, Ninth Edition, 606 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Sinauer Associates (first published 1975)
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Apr 09, 2013 Nicky rated it really liked it
As far as textbooks go, it was very good. There were plenty of color illustrations and pictures to get the information across. Which is helpful if you are a visual person, and in reality they were more the focus. I would actually read the text only to help explain a diagram or image. It is full of animal behavior experiments and teaches biological concepts through them. So it is very great about focusing on real world scenarios, then the theory and understanding of the biological mechanisms and ...more
Aug 17, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I assigned this book for my Animal Behavior classes last year. It's really pretty well-done. Lots of good figures. I didn't realize it at the time, but Alcock's approach to all of the chapters is very gene-centered. I agree with this approach, but at the same time I think it might have worked better to present a more balanced approach for the purposes of an undergraduate textbook.
Jul 05, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, science
This is not a light read, but something to delve into when you feel like stretching your mind. I found it really interesting. Each chapter explores certain behaviours displayed by different animals and discusses how these could have evolved over time. From mating and sexual behaviour, to finding homes and food, everything is covered here. The final chapter is really interesting, as it discusses human behaviour and the fact that we are not quite so removed from the rest of the animal kingdom as s ...more
Dec 05, 2010 Nathaniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Reviewing the 6th edition) Incredible book! Absolutely soul-stirring! Constant application of Tinbergen's questions throughout, so no one side of any behavior escapes examination. Examples could not be used more suitably than they are by Alcock, and the defense of sociobiology in the last chapter is icing on the 6th Ed. cake.
Oct 23, 2007 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insight into animal behavior from the "human" perspective...who knew ants could be so complex?
Jul 17, 2007 Thannasset rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far so good--well written, accessible, very very tightly reasoned.
Jurij Fedorov
Sep 28, 2013 Jurij Fedorov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hard read but worth it. Easy to understand science.

This book is filled with information about behaviour. All kind of animals are in it and it really presents all the basics of all behaviour traits - in an easy to understand way with many colored pictures and graphs. Still this is not ALL behaviour a lot of anecdotes and observations will be found in other books about animals - but none so grand.

It is a textbook. It has no humor, nearly no personal stories and no clever wordplays or peo
India Johnson
Mar 15, 2016 India Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what I feel a textbook should be. There are numerous illustrations and graphs to help visualize information. There are also critical thinking questions throughout. Another aspect of this book that I don't commonly see are citations to specific studies and further reading recommendations at the end of each chapter. This book is also easy to read in the sense that font type and word spacing are conducive to keeping track of where you are. This textbook is very nicely formatted on the whole ...more
Jessica Cavalli
Oct 21, 2015 Jessica Cavalli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks
This text was clear and concise without either over explaining or too briefly touching upon the main concepts and ideas presented. Alcock provided countless, helpful examples, graphs and diagrams that thoroughly explained the material and led to my further understanding of animal behavior. This textbook not only greatly guided me to my success in my animal behavior class, but also left with a newfound interest in animal behavioral studies.
Steven Peterson
Now dated, this edition represents one of the finest texts in the study of animal behavior at the time of its publication. The evolutionary bases of animal behavior or portrayed quite well; the writing style was fine for a textbook and was accessible to students. All in all, a good text in its day.
Fredrick Danysh
Many issues are addressed in this work including the evolution of animals as well as genetics. The author believes that the species behaviors are developed over time and offers examples.
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John Alcock (b. 1942) is an American behavioral ecologist and author. He is currently the Emeritus' Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His research interests include the evolution of diversity in insect populations, studying the adaptive value of different ways in which males find mating partners. He has authored several books, including The Kookaburras' Song: Ex ...more
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