Quantitative Methods for Vertebrate Social Analysis
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Author: Hal Whitehead
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Animals lead rich social lives. They care for one another, compete for resources, and mate. Within a society, social relationships may be simple or complex and usually vary considerably, both between different groups of individuals and over time. These social systems are fundamental to biological organization, and animal societies are central to studies of behavioral and evolutionary biology. But how do we study animal societies? How do we take observations of animals fighting, grooming, or forming groups and produce a realistic description or model of their societies? Analyzing AnimalSocieties presents a conceptual framework for analyzing social behavior and demonstrates how to put this framework into practice by collecting suitable data on the interactions and associations of individuals so that relationships can be described, and, from these, models can be derived. In addition to presenting the tools, Hal Whitehead illustrates their applicability using a wide range of real data on a variety of animal species—from bats and chimps to dolphins and birds. The techniques that Whitehead describes will be profitably adopted by scientists working with primates, cetaceans, birds, and ungulates, but the tools can be used to study societies of invertebrates, amphibians, and even humans. Analyzing AnimalSocieties will become a standard reference for those studying vertebrate social behavior and will give to these studies the kind of quality standard already in use in other areas of the life sciences.
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Author: Darren P. Croft,Richard James,Jens Krause
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Social network analysis is used widely in the social sciences to study interactions among people, groups, and organizations, yet until now there has been no book that shows behavioral biologists how to apply it to their work on animal populations. Exploring Animal Social Networks provides a practical guide for researchers, undergraduates, and graduate students in ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and zoology. Existing methods for studying animal social structure focus either on one animal and its interactions or on the average properties of a whole population. This book enables researchers to probe animal social structure at all levels, from the individual to the population. No prior knowledge of network theory is assumed. The authors give a step-by-step introduction to the different procedures and offer ideas for designing studies, collecting data, and interpreting results. They examine some of today's most sophisticated statistical tools for social network analysis and show how they can be used to study social interactions in animals, including cetaceans, ungulates, primates, insects, and fish. Drawing from an array of techniques, the authors explore how network structures influence individual behavior and how this in turn influences, and is influenced by, behavior at the population level. Throughout, the authors use two software packages--UCINET and NETDRAW--to illustrate how these powerful analytical tools can be applied to different animal social organizations.
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Author: Cédric Sueur,Frédéric Mery
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Understanding the link between individual behaviour and population organization and functioning has long been central to ecology and evolutionary biology. Behaviour is a response to intrinsic and extrinsic factors including individual state, ecological factors or social interactions. Within a group, each individual can be seen as part of a network of social interactions varying in strength, type and dynamic. The structure of this network can deeply impact the ecology and evolution of individuals, populations and species. Within a group social interactions can take many forms and may significantly affect an individual’s fitness. These interactions may result in complex systems at the group-level, such as in the case of collective decisions (to migrate, to build nest or to forage). Among them, social transmission of information has been studied mostly in vertebrates: fish, birds and mammals including humans. In insects, social learning has been unambiguously demonstrated in social Hymenoptera but this probably reflects limited research effort and recent evidence show that even non-eusocial insects such as Drosophila, cockroaches and crickets can copy the behaviour of others. Compared to individual learning, which requires a trial and error period every generation, social learning can potentially result in the stable transmission of behaviours across generations, leading to cultural traditions in some species. The study of the processes which may facilitate or prevent this transmission and the analyses of the relationship between social network structure and efficiency of social transmission became these recent years an emerging and promising field of research. The goal of this research topic is to present the genetic and socio-environmental factors affecting social interaction and information or pathogen transmission with the integration of experimental approaches, social network analyses and modelling. Importantly, we aim to understand whether a relationship between social network structures and dynamics can reflect the efficiency of social transmission, i.e. can we use social network analysis to predict the social transmission of information or of pathogen, collective decision-making and ultimately the evolutionary trajectory of a group?
A Handbook of Techniques
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Author: Ian L. Boyd,W. Don Bowen,Sara J. Iverson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Marine mammals command a high level of public attention, reflected in specific legislation for their protection and management in many countries. They also present particular challenges to ecologists and conservation biologists. They are mostly difficult to observe, they occupy an environment that is vast in its three dimensional extent, there are often perceived conflicts between marine mammals and people, and furthermore several species are now close to extinction. Marine mammals have some intriguing features in their biology - the ability to dive to crushing depths, to perform breath-hold dives that defy our current understanding of mammalian physiology, and many have an ability to hunt down prey using sophisticated sonar that we are only just beginning to understand. Many species also have complex social structures. We still have much to learn about these extraordinary animals so a comprehensive and authoritative overview of current methodology is now timely. The intention of this book is both to summarize the state-of-the-art and to encourage innovation and further progress in this research field.
A Workbook of Methods in Behaviour, Welfare and Ecology
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Author: Paul A. Rees
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Studying Captive Animals outlines the methods that may be used to study the behaviour, welfare and ecology of animals living under the control of humans, including companion animals, feral populations, and those living on farms and in zoos. This book is a step-by-step guide to the whole process of conducting a scientific study: from designing the original project, formulating testable hypotheses, and collecting and analysing the data, to drawing conclusions from the work and writing it up as a scientific report or paper. It also illustrates how to write a formal research proposal - a crucial and often difficult element of the student project - and how to deal with the ethical review process. Sample data collection sheets are provided and the analysis and presentation of data are worked through in diagrammatic form. In addition, exercises are included that enable the reader to practice analysing different types of data and advice is provided on the selection of appropriate statistical tests. The text describes the different types of student projects that may be undertaken in the field, and explains where secondary data may be found for zoos. This is an insightful resource, particularly for those studying and working with zoo and farm animals. It is essential reading for students studying zoo biology and animal management; it is also suitable for students on courses in animal behaviour, animal welfare, zoology, biology, psychology, animal science, animal production, animal ecology, conservation biology, and veterinary science. This book is primarily intended for undergraduates but will also be of value to postgraduate students who have not previously engaged in field studies. Professionals working in institutions that are members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and other regional and national zoo organisations will benefit from access to this practical guide.
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Category: Natural history
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Author: Michael D. Breed,Janice Moore