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Societies of Wolves and Free-ranging Dogs

  • Date Published: March 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107015197


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About the Authors
  • Wolves are charismatic emblems of wilderness. Dogs, which descended from wolves, are models of urbanity. Do free-ranging dogs revert to pack living or are their societies only reminiscent of a wolfish heritage? Focusing on behavioral ecology, this is the first book to assess societies of both gray wolves and domestic dogs living as urban strays and in the feral state. It provides a comprehensive review of wolf genetics, particularly of New World wolves and their mixture of wolf, coyote and dog genomes. Spotte draws on the latest scientific findings across the specialized fields of genetics, sensory biology, reproductive physiology, space use, foraging ecology and socialization. This interdisciplinary approach provides a solid foundation for a startling and original comparison of the social lives of wolves and free-ranging dogs. Supplementary material, including a full glossary of terms, is available online at

    • Draws on a wide range of disciplines, integrating such specialties as genetics, sensory biology, social ontogeny and reproductive physiology
    • Proposes a new view of the social lives of wolves and free-ranging dogs, offering a unique resource for anyone interested in the biology underlying social behaviours
    • Provides the most comprehensive review of wolf genetics available, with particular focus on New World wolves and their combination of wolf, coyote and dog genomes
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book is a literal encyclopaedia of information on what makes a wolf, what makes a dog, visual and tactile communication, olfactory and vocal communication, space, foraging, courtship and conception, reproduction and parenting, and socialization. Spotte did a commendable job of synthesizing knowledge on both wolves and dogs which is an enormous task … a valuable reference for anyone's bookshelf …' The Canadian Field-Naturalist

    'Through mating behavior and litter size, dominance hierarchies, pack membership, genetics, inter-breeding and more, this book explores the wolfish heritage and human influences on dogs, domestic and wild. Students of behavioral ecology will find the detailed research fascinating, and the layperson will enjoy the author's candid observations about these canid cousins.' Nancy jo Tubbs, International Wolf

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107015197
    • length: 394 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 178 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.93kg
    • contains: 64 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. What makes a wolf
    2. What makes a dog
    3. Visual and tactile communication
    4. Olfactory and vocal communication
    5. Space
    6. Foraging
    7. Courtship and conception
    8. Reproduction and parenting
    9. Socialization

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    Societies of Wolves and Free-ranging Dogs

    Stephen Spotte

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  • Author

    Stephen Spotte, Mote Marine Laboratory
    Stephen Spotte is a marine scientist with research and field experience ranging from the Arctic to the Amazon basin. He has been curator or director of three US public aquariums, was a research scientist at the Marine Sciences and Technology Center, University of Connecticut, and is presently Adjunct Scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida.

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