Zoology

Animal behaviour : mechanism, development, function and by Chris Barnard

By Chris Barnard

This ebook offers a accomplished creation to the examine of behaviour, from its foundation within the animal¿s anatomy and body structure to its adaptive worth within the atmosphere. it truly is geared toward undergraduate scholars within the organic sciences and psychology and is designed to function either a close creation and an in depth, up to date resource of reference allowing scholars to pursue themes within the basic literature.

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Extra resources for Animal behaviour : mechanism, development, function and evolution

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Richard Dawkins (1989) If one needed an exhortation to study animal behaviour, Richard Dawkins’s confident claim certainly provides one. The time and money that television producers and the publishers of books and magazines devote to the subject, however, suggests it needs little in the way of a recruiting sergeant. Perhaps uniquely among the various branches of science, animal behaviour combines philosophical debate and practical relevance with an intrinsic ability to engage and entertain.

The spectacle of behaviour, whether our own or of other species, gives rise to a panoply of such questions. Some, like the existence of consciousness, remain puzzles, as we shall see, but many more are yielding to insights that have revolutionised our perception of behaviour over the last 30 years, and heightened awareness of its relevance to ourselves and the world in which we live. qxd 9/17/07 8:00 PM Page 2 2 x Chapter 1 n Questions about behaviour For such a flourishing science, animal behaviour is surprisingly young.

Like many other bird species, European magpies (Pica pica) show some variation in clutch size. We might predict this if individuals differ in their physical condition, or food supplies vary between seasons and locations. But this assumes that magpies adjust their clutch size according to their ability to raise chicks on different occasions. Before we can accept this we need to test it. Goran Högstedt did so in a classic study of magpies in Sweden. Högstedt (1980) noticed that clutch sizes varied between five and eight eggs in the birds in his study population and that this variation was associated with differences in food availability on territories.

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