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Behavior and Ecology

Foraging is fundamental to animal survival and reproduction, yet it is much more than a simple matter of finding food; it is a biological imperative. Animals must find and consume resources to succeed, and they make extraordinary efforts to do so. For instance, pythons rarely eat, but when they do, their meals are large—as much as 60 percent larger than their own bodies. The snake’s digestive system is normally dormant, but during digestion metabolic rates can increase fortyfold. A python digesting quietly on the forest floor has the metabolic rate of thoroughbred in a dead heat. This and related foraging processes have broad applications in ecology, cognitive science, anthropology, and conservation biology—and they can be further extrapolated in economics, neurobiology, and computer science.

Foraging is the first comprehensive review of the topic in more than twenty years. A monumental undertaking, this volume brings together twenty-two experts from throughout the field to offer the latest on the mechanics of foraging, modern foraging theory, and foraging ecology. The fourteen essays cover all the relevant issues, including cognition, individual behavior, caching behavior, parental behavior, antipredator behavior, social behavior, population and community ecology, herbivory, and conservation. Considering a wide range of taxa, from birds to mammals to amphibians, Foraging will be the definitive guide to the field.

576 pages | 96 halftones, 7 line drawings, 5 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2007

Biological Sciences: Behavioral Biology, Biology--Systematics, Conservation, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Natural History, Physiology, Biomechanics, and Morphology


"The book contains an enormous amount of interesting and useful information and ideas, and is the kind of book that rewards repeated reading. . . . We recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about this very lively area of research."

H. Ronald Pulliam | Integrative and Comparative Biology

"The fourteen essays included here were written by experts from throughout the field, and include discussions on the mechanics of foraging, modern theoretical models of foraging bevavior, and foraging ecology. . . . A valuable reference for ecologists and biologists, and a useful text for students."

Stephen Eddy | Northeastern Naturalist

"The editors and authors have done a superlative job in covering an incredible diversity of issues relevant to foraging while keeping the reader on the ball with snippets of fascinating information . . . thus making this publication now essential for anyone who wants to be brought up to speed."

Rory P. Wilson | Journal of Experimental Biology

"A monumental undertaking, this volume brings together 22 experts from throughout the field to offer the latest on the mechanics of foraging, modern foraging theory, and foraging ecology. . . . Considering a wide range of taxa, from bird to mammals to amphibians, Foraging will be the definitive guide to the field."

Ethology | Ecology & Evolution

"I highly recommend this book to all who study foraging. Graduate students will find a wide array of fascinating questions. . . . Researchers and faculty members will find a convenient source of updated information on foraging theory and foraging behavior."

Luc-Alain Giraldeau | BioScience

Table of Contents

John Krebs and Alex Kacelnik 

1 Foraging: An Overview 
 Ronald C. Ydenberg, Joel S. Brown, and David W. Stephens 
 Box 1.1 Prehistory: Before Foraging Met Danger
   Peter A. Bednekoff 
 Box 1.2 Diving and Foraging by the Common Eider
   Colin W. Clark 
 Box 1.3 A Two-Player, Symmetric, Matrix Game
 Box 1.4 A Two-Player Continuous Game

Part I Foraging and Information Processing

2 Models of Information Use 
 David W. Stephens 

3 Neuroethology of Foraging 
 David F. Sherry and John B. Mitchell 
 Box 3.1 Glossary
 Box 3.2 A Nobel Prize in the Molecular Basis of Memory
 Box 3.3 Neural Mechanisms of Reward
   Peter Shizgal 

4 Cognition for Foraging 
 Melissa M. Adams-Hunt and Lucia F. Jacobs 
 Box 4.1 Learning in the Laboratory

Part II Processing, Herbivory, and Storage

5 Food Acquisition, Processing, and Digestions 
 Christopher J. Whelan and Kenneth A. Schmidt 
 Box 5.1 Modeling Digestive Modulation in an Ecological Framework
   Christopher J. Whelan 
 Box 5.2 More than a Matter of Taste
   Frederick D. Provenza 

6 Herbivory 
 Jonathan Newman 
 Box 6.1 Herbivory versus Carnivory: Different Means for Similar Ends
   David Raubenheimer 
 Box 6.2 Animal Farm: Food Provisioning and Abnormal Oral Behaviors in Captive Herbivores
   Georgia Mason 

7 Energy Storage and Expenditure 
 Anders Brodin and Colin W. Clark 
 Box 7.1 Neuroendocrine Mechanisms of Energy Regulation in Mammals
   Stephen C. Woods and Thomas W. Castonguay 
 Box 7.2 Energy Stores in Migrating Birds
   Åke Lindström 
 Box 7.3 What Current Models Can and Cannot Tell Us about Adaptive Energy Storage
   Alasdair Houston and John McNamara 

Part III Modern Foraging Theory

8 Provisioning 
 Ronald C. Ydenberg 
 Box 8.1 Effects of Social Interactions at Resource Points on Provisioning Tactics
 Box 8.2 Provisioning and Spatial Patterns of Resource Exploitation
 Box 8.3 Variance-Sensitive Provisioning

9 Foraging in the Face of Danger 
 Peter A. Bednekoff 
 Box 9.1 Allocation of Foraging Effort when Danger Varies over Time
 Box 9.2 Three Models of Information Flow in Groups

10 Foraging with Others: Games Social Foragers Play 
 Thomas A. Waite and Kristin L. Field 
 Box 10.1 The Ideal Free Distribution
   Ian M. Hamilton 
 Box 10.2 Genetic Relatedness and Group Size
 Box 10.3 The Rate-Maximizing Producer-Scrounger Game

Part IV Foraging Ecology

11 Foraging and Population Dynamics 
 Robert D. Holt and Tristan Kimbrell 
 Box 11.1 Basic Concepts in Population Dynamics

12 Community Ecology 
 Burt P. Kotler and Joel S. Brown 
 Box 12.1 Isolegs and Isodars

13 Foraging and the Ecology of Fear 
 Joel S. Brown and Burt P. Kotler 
 Box 13.1 Stress Hormones and the Predation-Starvation Trade-off
   Vladimir V. Pravosudov 
 Box 13.2 Giving-up Densities
   Joel S. Brown 

14 On Foraging Theory, Humans, and the Conservation of Diversity: A Prospectus 
 Michael L. Rosenzweig 

Literature Cited 

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