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Game Theory and Animal Behavior [Paperback]

Lee Alan Dugatkin , Hudson Kern Reeve

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Book Description

April 5 2000 0195137906 978-0195137903 Reprint
Game theory has revolutionized the study of animal behavior. The fundamental principle of evolutionary game theory--that the strategy adopted by one individual depends on the strategies exhibited by others--has proven a powerful tool in uncovering the forces shaping otherwise mysterious behaviors. In this volume, the first since 1982 devoted to evolutionary game theory, leading researchers describe applications of the theory to diverse types of behavior, providing an overview of recent discoveries and a synthesis of current research. The volume begins with a clear introduction to game theory and its explanatory scope. This is followed by a series of chapters on the use of game theory to understand a range of behaviors: social foraging, cooperation, animal contests, communication, reproductive skew and nepotism within groups, sibling rivalry, alternative life-histories, habitat selection, trophic-level interactions, learning, and human social behavior. In addition, the volume includes a discussion of the relations among game theory, optimality, and quantitative genetics, and an assessment of the overall utility of game theory to the study of social behavior. Presented in a manner accessible to anyone interested in animal behavior but not necessarily trained in the mathematics of game theory, the book is intended for a wide audience of undergraduates, graduate students, and professional biologists pursuing the evolutionary analysis of animal behavior.

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"Describes many interesting examples of animal behaviour, including games between foraging producers and scroungers, reciprocal grooming in impala, territorial defence by birds and spiders, animal communication, parent-offspring conflict, and colony founding by ants. There are many accounts of experimental tests of game theory models, along with clear discussions of the limitations of the game theory approach. The quality of writing (often a problem in edited volumes) is uniformly good. The chapter by R. Gomulkiewicz is especially important, because it connects game theory, other optimization methods, and quantitative genetics with a focus on an empirical strategy for detecting adaptation and constraint." --Nature

"The book is a worthwhile addition to graduate collections and some undergraduate collections emphasizing behavioral ecology, as most chapters are sufficiently general to be of use for a longer time than the typical symposium volume."--Choice

"The liaison between game theory and evolutionary ecology has become a serious and intimate affair during the past few years. . . . Game Theory and Animal Behaviour is an edited volume loosely based on talks covering a diverse set of subjects that were presented by the authors at the 1995 symposium of the National Animal Behavior Society, USA. The scope of the book is accordingly wide: the topics range from pure theory aimed at a concise summary of the basics of game theory and a review of the links between the models of game theory, evolutionary optimality theory and quantitative genetics, to game theory applied to hypothetical or actual animal conflicts in social foraging (among other topics), and a verbal consideration of the applicability of game theory to important aspects of human behaviour such as social norms. The common framework for the selection of papers is classic evolutionary game theory . . ."--Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"This will be the first book since 1982 dedicated to ethological game theory models, despite the fact that game theory has played a major role in reshaping the study of animal behaviour over the"The Archaea, or archebacteria, constitute the fifth kingdom of living organisms, as distinct from true bacteria as from fungi, animals, and plants. They were very likely the first life forms form which all other living things evolved, because they are naturally evolved, because they are naturally adapted to thrive in the anoxic extreme environments that prevailed when life originated on the earth. . .Their discovery has given a unique vantage on the principles of life because they present unique life histories and metabolisms, in effect a novel, previously unrecognized type of life."--Ethology, Ecology, Evolution Ecology and Evolution

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When Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection, he created a picture of the evolutionary process in which organismic adaptation was ultimately caused by competition for survival and reproduction. Read the first page
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