Titel: Animal Signals
Autor/en: John Maynard Smith
OXFORD UNIV PR
Januar 2004 - kartoniert - 176 Seiten
Why are animal signals reliable? This is the central problem for evolutionary biologists interested in signals. Of course, not all signals are reliable; but most are, otherwise receivers of signals would ignore them. A number of theoretical answers have been proposed and empirical studies
made, but there still remains a considerable amount of confusion. The authors, one a theoretician the other a fieldworker, introduce a sense of order to this chaos. A significant cause of confusion has been the tendency for different researchers to use either the same term with different meanings,
or different terms with the same meaning. The authors attempt to clarify these differences. A second cause of confusion has arisen because many biologists continue to assume that there is only one correct explanation for signal reliability. The authors argue that the reliability of signals is
maintained in several ways, relevant in different circumstances, and that biologists must learn to distinguish between them. In this book they explain the different theories, give examples of signalling systems to which one or another theory applies, and point to the many areas where further work,
both theoretical and empirical, is required.
1. Introduction - what are signals? ; 2. The theory of costly signalling ; 3. Strategic signals and minimal cost signals ; 4. Indices of quality ; 5. The evolution of signal form ; 6. Signals during contests ; 7. Signals in primates and other social animals ; GLOSSARY OF SCIENTIFIC NAMES ; REFERENCES ; AUTHOR INDEX ; SUBJECT INDEX
John Maynard Smith (1920-2004) was an eminent evolutionary biologist and author of many books on evolution, both for scientists and the general public. He was professor emeritus at the University of Sussex, UK, Fellow of the Royal Society, winner of the Darwin Medal, and laureate of the Crafoord Prize of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
David Harper is Senior Lecturer in Evolution, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, UK.
This book is essential reading for anyone studying animal signals ... the book is well laid out, and its emphasis on clear definition and logic is without parallel in books on animal communication ... We think this book marks a significant contribution by Maynard Smith and Harper, a keystone in the communication literature, and a fitting legacy for John as it will speak discussions long after his death. ISBE Newsletter [The Late] Maynard Smith has inspired generations of biologists with his writing, and he certainly will continue to do so with this work with Harper. Through their admirable assessment of the current status of the field of animal signal evolution, the authors have developed a platform for consensus ... Their fascinating and intriguing empirical examples and natural histories are excellently suited to illustrate the theoretical problems they address. Science Reading the book is a great pleasure, and anyone interested in animal communication will find it both useful and inspiring. Science It is an ideal text for the undergraduate new to the field. Part of the problem is the lack of a basic set of agreed concepts and definitions (signals?!) for workers in the field. This makes it an ideal starting place for ecological discussions where school students can try out different ideas as they try to understand ecology. There's even a case to be made for this as a way of doing fieldwork. Overall, worth reading for the insights it gives us. TEG News