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  • Cited by 125
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
December 2015
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Book description

Cooperative breeders are species in which individuals beyond a pair assist in the production of young in a single brood or litter. Although relatively rare, cooperative breeding is widespread taxonomically and continues to pose challenges to our understanding of the evolution of cooperation and altruistic behavior. Bringing together long-term studies of cooperatively breeding birds, mammals, and fish, this volume provides a synthesis of current studies in the field. The chapters are organised by individual studies of particular species or (in the case of mole-rats) two closely related cooperatively breeding species. Each focuses not only on describing behavior and ecology but also on testing evolutionary hypotheses for the form and function of the diverse and extraordinary cooperative breeding lifestyles that have been discovered. This unique and comprehensive text will be of interest to graduate students and researchers of behavioral ecology and the evolution of cooperation.


'… fledgling graduate students in ornithology will find a treasure trove of information on key species, and behavioral ecologists and conservation biologists will not be disappointed. This work is highly recommended for college and university libraries.'

B. E. Fleury Source: Choice

'… the publication of [a] well written … book on long term studies of vertebrate cooperative breeding is timely and important. This is a 'must-read' for new and old students of behavioral ecology.'

Loren D. Hayes Source: The Quarterly Review of Biology

'As Koenig et al. point out, one advantage of not finding a ‘grand synthesis’ is that there remains huge opportunity to expand our knowledge of cooperative breeding in these and new species. This book is a great stepping stone for that pursuit, and will not only be an indispensable resource for those in the field, but is also a captivating read for those of us who aren’t.'

Ken A. Otter Source: International Society for Behavioral Ecology Newsletter

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