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Despite its almost universal acclaim, the authors contend that evolutionary explanations must take into account the well-established fact that in mammals and birds, the transfer of learned information is both ubiquitous and indispensable. Animal Traditions maintains the assumption that selection of genes supplies both a sufficient explanation of evolution and a true description of its course. The introduction of the behavioral inheritance system into the Darwinian explanatory scheme enables the authors to offer new interpretations for common behaviors such as maternal behaviors, behavioral conflicts within families, adoption, and helping. This approach offers a richer view of heredity and evolution, integrates developmental and evolutionary processes, suggests new lines for research, and provides a constructive alternative to both the selfish gene and meme views of the world. This book will make stimulating reading for all those interested in evolutionary biology, sociobiology, behavioral ecology, and psychology.Read more
- Suggests a constructive alternative to the gene-centred view of evolution, and the 'meme'-centred version
- Argues that learnt behaviours and traditions are the major 'engines' in the evolution of birds and mammals
- Provides original and testable ideas about the evolution of behaviour in readable and informative format
Reviews & endorsements
"Animal Traditions provides a well-written, handsomely bound, multiply indexed, though idiosyncratic, introduction to behavioural ecology...They provide a wealth of references to material consistent with their view." Ethology 2001See more reviews
"...Animal Traditions is an important book, for it shows that there are more possible (and plausible) explanations for the evolution of animal behaviours than people with a gene-centric view of inheritance are able to consider. So every person interested in evolutionary biology and psychology should read it." Biology and Philosophy
"full of natural history that is fun and interesting to read." SCIENCE July 2001
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- Date Published: November 2005
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521022118
- length: 448 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 154 x 30 mm
- weight: 0.687kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. New rules for old games
2. What is pulling the strings of behaviour?
3. Learning and the behavioural inheritance system
4. Parental care - the highroad to family traditions
5. Achieving harmony between mates - the learning route
6. Parents and offspring - too much conflict?
7. Alloparental care - an additional channel of information transfer
8. The origins and persistence of group legacies
9. Darwin meets Lamarck - the co-evolution of genes and learning
10. The free phenotype
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