55th out of 109 books — 4 voters
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Animal behaviour - 9th Edition
by John Alcock
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, 606 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Sinauer Associates, Inc.
(first published 1975)
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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
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.
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
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.
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...moreMore about John Alcock...