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18. Paul W. Sherman, ed., Neurobiology and Behavior, (with Jerry O. Wolff)

Paul Sherman
Sherman Book

Paul Sherman

Rodent Societies: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (University of Chicago Press, 2007). This volume synthesizes and integrates current knowledge about the social behavior of rodents, laying out ecological and evolutionary contexts for understanding rodent societies and highlighting emerging conservation and management strategies to preserve them. The book begins with a summary of the evolution, phylogeny, and biogeography of social and nonsocial rodents, providing a historical basis for comparative analyses. Subsequent sections focus on group-living rodents and characterize their reproductive behaviors, life histories and population ecology, genetics, neuroendocrine mechanisms, behavioral development, cognitive processes, communication mechanisms, cooperative and uncooperative behaviors, antipredator strategies, comparative socioecology, diseases, and conservation. Squirrels, mice, chipmunks, hamsters, and gerbils are a few of the more than 2,000 types of rodents, which represent 44 percent of all mammal species worldwide. Using the highly diverse and well-studied order of rodents as model systems, the authors explore questions of cross-disciplinary interest: Why do individuals sound an alarm when a predator appears nearby? (To warn kin and to confuse predators.) Why do some rodents commit infanticide? (To obtain food and appropriate breeding territories.) Why are beavers one of the few monogamous mammals? (Because pairs must cooperate to build and maintain dams, lodges, and food larders.) This work is a stimulus for future collaborative and interdisciplinary investigations.

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