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Rodent Societies

An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective

Rodent Societies

An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective

Rodent Societies synthesizes and integrates the current state of knowledge about the social behavior of rodents, providing ecological and evolutionary contexts for understanding their societies and highlighting emerging conservation and management strategies to preserve them. It 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. Using the highly diverse and well-studied Rodentia as model systems to integrate a variety of research approaches and evolutionary theory into a unifying framework, Rodent Societies will appeal to a wide range of disciplines, both as a compendium of current research and as a stimulus for future collaborative and interdisciplinary investigations.

610 pages | 69 halftones, 95 line drawings | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2007

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


"Undoubtedly the most exhaustive and progressive analysis of rodent social behavior to date. Deftly edited . . . this well-organized book . . . [is] a significant compendium of more than 50 years of research."

Heather Patisaul | Integrative and Comparative Biology

Table of Contents


1     Rodents Societies as Model Systems
      Jerry O. Wolff and Paul W. Sherman
2     Rodent Evolution, Phylogenetics, and Biogeography
      Rodney L. Honeycutt, Laurence J. Frabotta, and Diane L. Rowe

Sexual Behavior

3     Male Mating Strategies in Rodents
      Jane Waterman
4     Reproductive Strategies in Female Rodents 
      Nancy G. Solomon and Brian Keane
5     Sexual Selection: Using Social Ecology to Determine Fitness Differences
      Lara S. Carroll and Wayne K. Potts
6     A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Breeding Systems of Neotomine-Peromyscine Rodents
      Matina C. Kalcounis-Rüppell and David O. Ribble
7     Alternative Reproductive Tactics and Strategies of Tree Squirrels   
      John L. Koprowski

Life Histories and Behavior

8     Fast and Slow Life Histories of Rodents
      F. Stephen Dobson and Madan K. Oli
9     Acceleration and Delay of Reproduction in Rodents
      Lee C. Drickamer
10    Sexual Size Dimorphism in Rodents 
      Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde
11    Facultative Sex Ratio Adjustment 
      Robert S. Sikes
12    The Role of the Stress Axis in Life-History Adaptations
      Rudy Boonstra, J. M Barker, J. Castillo, and Q. E. Fletcher
13    Dispersal and Philopatry
      Scott Nunes
14    Gene Dynamics and Social Behavior
      F. Stephen Dobson
15    Social Behavior and Self-Regulation in Murid Rodents
      Charles J. Krebs, Xavier Lambin and Jerry O. Wolff

Behavioral Development

16    Neural Regulation of Social Behavior in Rodents
      J. Thomas Curtis, Yan Liu, Brandon J. Aragona, and Zuoxin Wang
17    Ontogeny of Adaptive Behaviors
      Jill M. Mateo
18    Social Learning by Rodents
      Bennett G. Galef Jr.
19    Kin Recognition in Rodents: Issues and Evidence
      Warren G. Holmes and Jill M. Mateo

Social Behavior

20     Parental Care
       Betty McGuire and William E. Bemis
21     The Ecology of Sociality in Rodents
       Eileen A. Lacey and Paul W. Sherman
22     Scent Marking 
       S. Craig Roberts
23     Nonparental Infanticide
       Luis A. Ebensperger and Daniel T. Blumstein
24     Social Organization and Monogamy in the Beaver
       Peter Busher
25     Evolution of Pacifism and Sociality in Blind Mole Rats
       Eviatar Nevo

Antipredator Behavior

26    Social and Antipredator Systems: Intertwining Links in Multiple Time Frames 
      Donald H. Owings and Richard G. Coss
27    The Evolution of Alarm Communication in Rodents: Structure, Function, and the Puzzle of Apparently Altruistic Calling
      Daniel T. Blumstein
28    Fear and the Foraging, Breeding, and Sociality of Rodents
      Hannu Ylönen and Joel S. Brown

Comparative Socioecology

29    Ecology, Kinship, and Ground Squirrel Sociality: Insights from Comparative Analyses
      James F. Hare and Jan O. Murie
30    Evolution of Sociality in Marmots: It Begins with Hibernation
      Kenneth B. Armitage
31    Environmental Constraints and the Evolution of Sociality in Semifossorial Desert Rodents
      Jan A. Randall
32    Comparative Social Organization and Life History of Rattus and Mus
      Manuel Berdoy and Lee C. Drickamer
33    Social Organization and Resource Use in Capybaras and Maras
      David W. Macdonald, Emilio A. Herrera, Andrew B. Taber, and José Roberto Moreira
34    Social Structure in Octodontid and Ctenomyid Rodents
      Eileen A. Lacey and Luis A. Ebensperger
35    Socioecology of Rock-Dwelling Rodents
      Karen Nutt
36    African Mole-Rats: Social and Ecological Diversity
      Chris G. Faulkes and Nigel C. Bennett
37    Alarm Calling, Multiple Mating, and Infanticide among Black-Tailed, Gunnison’s, and Utah Prairie Dogs
      John L. Hoogland

Conservation and Disease

38    Issues in Rodent Conservation
      William Z. Lidicker Jr.
39    Conservation of Ground Squirrels
      Beatrice Van Horne
40    Conservation of Prairie Dogs
      John L. Hoogland
41    Social Behavior, Demography, and Rodent-Borne Pathogens
      Richard S. Ostfeld and James N. Mills


42    Conclusions and Future Directions
      Paul W. Sherman and Jerry O. Wolff


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