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Mammal Societies

Mammal Societies

Tim Clutton-Brock

ISBN: 978-1-119-09532-3

May 2016, Wiley-Blackwell

760 pages

In Stock



The book aims to integrate our understanding of mammalian societies into a novel synthesis that is relevant to behavioural ecologists, ecologists, and anthropologists. It adopts a coherent structure that deals initially with the characteristics and strategies of females, before covering those of males, cooperative societies and hominid societies. It reviews our current understanding both of the structure of societies and of the strategies of individuals; it combines coverage of relevant areas of theory with coverage of interspecific comparisons, intraspecific comparisons and experiments; it explores both evolutionary causes of different traits and their ecological consequences; and it integrates research on different groups of mammals with research on primates and humans and attempts to put research on human societies into a broader perspective.

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Chapter 1: Social Evolution

Chapter 2: Female sociality

Chapter 3: Female dispersal and philopatry

Chapter 4: Female mating decisions

Chapter 5: Maternal care

Chapter 6: Social development

Chapter 7: Communication

Chapter 8: Competition between females

Chapter 9: Cooperation between females

Chapter 10: Mating systems

Chapter 11: Association between males

Chapter 12: Male dispersal and its consequences

Chapter 13: Reproductive competition among males

Chapter 14: Relationships between males in multi-male groups

Chapter 15: Males and females

Chapter 16: Paternal Care

Chapter 17: Cooperative breeding

Chapter 18: Sex differences

Chapter 19: Hominins and humans

Chapter 20: Human behaviour


"Mammal Societies is an authoritative and magnificently written synthesis of mammalian social behavior. As Tim Clutton-Brock states in the preface, his goal was to “. . .create an integrated account of mammalian societies. . .,” which he achieves with a seamless elegance honed through decades of long-term research on primates, ungulates, and carnivores. The book explains the fundamental theory underlying sociality, and then applies it to understand the diversity of mammalian behavior. Unlike previous syntheses that separate humans from non-human primates, and primates from non-primates, Clutton-Brock masterfully integrates his knowledge of these disparate literatures, and of behavioral diversity in general, to create a genuinely interesting and stimulating overview and synthesis of what we do and do not know about mammalian social behavioral diversity with implications for understanding ourselves.....Throughout, Clutton-Brock clearly deconstructs hypotheses and critically reviews both the logic and the data supporting them...Mammal Societies is a goldmine for graduate students and those establishing new studies about the adaptive value of sociality in any taxa. It would make an outstanding book to read in a graduate seminar and should be on the desk of any graduate student or academic interested in social behavior in any taxa...In summary, Mammal Societies is an intellectual tour de force that will become a citation classic and will set the stage for the next generation of studies on the adaptive value of sociality. Although not an easy read, it is a must read for anyone interested in the diversity of social behavior and its implications for population demography, and the evolution and maintenance of animal sociality..."(Journal of Wildlife Management-December 2016)

Shortlisted for the British Ecological Society’s ‘Marsh Book of the Year Award 2017', which acknowledges the important role that books have on ecology and its development.