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Avoiding Attack By Graeme D. Ruxton (Professor, Professor, University of St Andrews, UK)


This book discusses the mechanisms by which prey avoid predator attacks, and how such mechanisms have evolved through natural selection.

Avoiding Attack Summary

Avoiding Attack: The Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Aposematism, and Mimicry by Graeme D. Ruxton (Professor, Professor, University of St Andrews, UK)

Avoiding Attack discusses the diversity of mechanisms by which prey avoid predator attacks and explores how such defensive mechanisms have evolved through natural selection. It considers how potential prey avoid detection, how they make themselves unprofitable to attack, how they communicate this status, and how other species have exploited these signals. Using carefully selected examples of camouflage, mimicry, and warning signals drawn from a wide range of species and ecosystems, the authors summarise the latest research into these fascinating adaptations, developing mathematical models where appropriate and making recommendations for future study. This second edition has been extensively rewritten, particularly in the application of modern genetic research techniques which have transformed our recent understanding of adaptations in evolutionary genomics and phylogenetics. The book also employs a more integrated and systematic approach, ensuring that each chapter has a broader focus on the evolutionary and ecological consequences of anti-predator adaptation. The field has grown and developed considerably over the last decade with an explosion of new research literature, making this new edition timely.

Avoiding Attack Reviews

we enjoyed reading this new edition and cannot wait to recommend it to our students and colleagues ... the authors have done an excellent job at synthesizing the vast literature on predator-prey interactions into one relatively compact text. This makes this book a must read for any scientist or non-scientist who has any level of interest in the subject. * Swanne Gordon & Emily Burdfield, Washington University in St. Louis & University of Amsterdam, Basic and Applied Ecology *
This is the second edition of Avoiding Attack now thoroughly revised and updated with the help of Will Allen. Using the predatory sequence as a road map through classes of anti-predator defenses, 14 chapters systematically address the ways in which prey avoid detection, thwart recognition, dodge attack and prevent consumption. In the sense of being a comprehensive and thoughtful synthesis of a growing sub-field in behavioural/evolutionary ecology, it is an absolute tour de force. * Tim Caro, University of California, Davis, ISBE Newsletter *

About Graeme D. Ruxton (Professor, Professor, University of St Andrews, UK)

Graeme Ruxton is Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has broad interests in behavioural ecology, but mostly focusses on predator-prey interactions. His main means of investigation is in various types of theoretical modelling, but this is generally linked to empirical data collection in the field or laboratory. His interests are wide in terms of ecosystems and taxonomy too, and he has occasionally published speculations on the ecologies of extinct species. Graeme's interest in predator-prey interactions has grown to include between-species communication more generally and he has a strong interest in how plants interact with animal antagonists and mutualists. William Allen is an evolutionary ecologist who investigates antipredator defences at macroecological and macroevolutionary scales. His interdisciplinary training at the University of Bristol in human, animal, and machine vision has allowed him to apply novel techniques to understanding the visual ecology of defences in diverse taxa, including felids, reptiles, and ungulates. Other research interests include intraspecific visual signalling in primates and life history evolution. He currently teaches courses on sensory ecology and the evolution of tetrapods. Tom Sherratt has a broad range of interests in the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology, notably predator-prey interactions, the evolution of senescence and the evolution of cooperation. Members of the Sherratt lab conduct both field and laboratory experiments, but they also attempt to develop and test biologically relevant theory. Tom also teaches courses in statistics and computer modelling. Michael Speed is an evolutionary biologist with longstanding interests in predator-prey relationships, evolution, and phylogenetics. He studied at Leeds University, where he began his work on the evolution of signalling in mimicry systems and currently lectures in evolution and behaviour at the University of Liverpool, where he is also Head of the School of Life Sciences.

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter summary The sequence of a predator-prey encounter and investment across multiple defences 1: Background matching 2: Disruptive camouflage 3: Countershading 4: Transparency 5: Secondary defences 6: Aposematism 7: Mullerian mimicry 8: Advertising elusiveness 9: Batesian mimicry and masquerade 10: Startling predators 11: Deflecting the point of attack 12: Dazzle camouflage 13: Thanatosis 14: Synthesis

Additional information

Avoiding Attack: The Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Aposematism, and Mimicry by Graeme D. Ruxton (Professor, Professor, University of St Andrews, UK)
Oxford University Press
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