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The Secret Social Lives of Reptiles (Hardcover)

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Covering diverse species from garter snakes to Komodo dragons, this book delves into the evolutionary origins and fascinating details of the mysterious social lives of reptiles.

Reptiles have been too often dismissed as dull animals with tiny brains and simple, asocial lives. In reality, reptiles engage in a remarkable diversity of complex social behavior. They can live in families; communicate with one another while still in the egg; and hunt, feed, migrate, court, mate, nest, and hatch in groups. In The Secret Social Lives of Reptiles, J. Sean Doody, Vladimir Dinets, and Gordon M. Burghardt--three of the world's leading experts on reptiles--bring together a wave of new research with a synthesis of classic studies to produce the only authoritative look at the social behaviors of the most provocative animals on the planet.

The book covers turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodilians, and the enigmatic tuatara. Enhanced with dozens of images, it takes readers through a myriad of social interactions, tendencies, and intimacies ranging from fierce territorial battles to delicate paternal care and from promiscuous pairings to monogamous partnerships. This unique text

- explains why reptiles have been neglected as subjects of social behavior studies;
- provides numerous examples across all major reptilian groups that overturn the false paradigm of solitary reptiles;
- explores the sensory, genetic, physiological, life history, and other factors underlying social behavior in reptiles;
- presents the case that evolutionary experiments found among reptiles offer unparalleled opportunities for understanding how and why social behavior evolves in animals; and
- identifies new and developing areas of research helping to reshape our view of reptiles.

Revealing the secrets of reptilian social relationships through original quantitative research, field studies, laboratory experiments, and careful analysis of the literature, The Secret Social Lives of Reptiles elevates these fascinating animals to key players in the science of behavioral ecology.

About the Author

J. Sean Doody is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. He is the coauthor of The Australian Pig-Nose Turtle. Vladimir Dinets is a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a visiting researcher at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. He is the author of Dragon Songs: Love and Adventure among Crocodiles, Alligators, and Other Dinosaur Relations. Gordon M. Burghardt is an Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee. He is the author of The Genesis of Animal Play: Testing the Limits.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781421440675
ISBN-10: 1421440679
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Pages: 440
Language: English