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Power in the Wild

The Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Ways Animals Strive for Control over Others

Power in the Wild

The Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Ways Animals Strive for Control over Others

From the shell wars of hermit crabs to little blue penguins spying on potential rivals, power struggles in the animal kingdom are as diverse as they are fascinating, and this book illuminates their surprising range and connections.
 
The quest for power in animals is so much richer, so much more nuanced than who wins what knock-down, drag-out fight. Indeed, power struggles among animals often look more like an opera than a boxing match. Tracing the path to power for over thirty different species on six continents, writer and behavioral ecologist Lee Alan Dugatkin takes us on a journey around the globe, shepherded by leading researchers who have discovered that in everything from hyenas to dolphins, bonobos to field mice, cichlid fish to cuttlefish, copperhead snakes to ravens, and meerkats to mongooses, power revolves around spying, deception, manipulation, forming alliances, breaking up alliances, complex assessments of potential opponents, building social networks, and more. Power pervades every aspect of the social life of animals: what they eat, where they eat, where they live, who they mate with, how many offspring they produce, who they join forces with, and who they work to depose. In some species, power can even change an animal’s sex. Nor are humans invulnerable to this magnificently intricate melodrama: Dugatkin’s tales of the researchers studying power in animals are full of unexpected pitfalls, twists and turns, serendipity, and the pure joy of scientific discovery.

208 pages | 8 color plates, 1 halftones, 1 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2022

Biological Sciences: Behavioral Biology, Biology--Systematics, Evolutionary Biology, Natural History

Psychology: Animal Behavior

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Chart a Path to Power 
2 Weigh Costs and Benefits 
3 Assess Thy Rivals 
4 Watch and Be Watched 
5 Build Alliances 
6 Cement the Hold 
7 Survive the Battles 
8 Rise and Fall 
Afterword 
Acknowledgments 
Notes 
Index 
 

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