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Principles of Animal Communication

Second Edition

Jack W. Bradbury and Sandra L. Vehrencamp

Publication Date - August 2011

ISBN: 9780878930456

768 pages
9 x 11.5 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $194.99

A fully-revised, engaging look at animal communication


Animal communication continues to be one of the most active and popular topics in behavioral ecology, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology. An enormous amount of relevant new research has been published since the first edition of Principles of Animal Communication, and over 90% of the citations in this new edition were published since the first edition appeared.

Although the basic order of topics is similar, this second edition is a completely new book. The topics in the 26 chapters of the first edition have been condensed and integrated into 16 chapters in the new version so as to better accommodate upper-division undergraduate courses with 15-week semesters. The text omits boxes and, instead, the relevant mathematics, more advanced considerations, citation bibliographies, and web links for topic enrichment have been assembled into chapter-specific and freely accessible web modules. This was done to improve the flow for undergraduates, while still providing access to more technical details and scholarly sources for graduate courses and professional users. Figures and photos are now full-color and the book has a larger format that makes for easier reading. This edition retains the broad taxonomic and sensory scope of the first edition and even adds coverage of several modalities and taxa not discussed in the first edition. As with the first edition, every chapter concludes with an itemized summary of major points and suggestions for additional reading.

As the title suggests, the emphasis in the text is on identifying general principles that apply broadly across taxa and modalities. At the same time, major effort has been expended to integrate these principles with the accepted principles of economics and other fields of science. Given this integrative nature, animal communication is a topic that can serve both as an appealing entry point to science for younger students and as a coalescing of separate disciplines for more senior ones.

For Students

Companion Website

New for the second edition, the Principles of Animal Communication Companion Website is freely accessible to all students and includes:

* Chapter Outlines for a quick overview of each chapter.
* Chapter Summaries for review of each chapter's main concepts.
* Web Topics that provide additional coverage and background material on a variety of topics throughout the textbook.
* Literature Cited for all works cited in the textbook.

For Instructors (Available to Qualified Adopters)

Instructor's Resource Library

The new Instructor's Resource Library disc includes all of the textbook's figures and tables (including photos) as both high- and low-resolution JPEG images, formatted and optimized for projection. All of the figures and tables are also included in ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations, making it easy for instructors to incorporate them into lectures.

About the Author(s)

Jack W. Bradbury is a Robert G. Engel Professor of Ornithology, Emeritus at Cornell University. He undertook his undergraduate work at Reed College and received his Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from Rockefeller University. During his career, he has served on the faculty of Rockefeller University, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), and Cornell University, as Associate Dean of Natural Sciences at UCSD, and, most recently, as Director of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His research has included studies on determinants of dispersion, mating systems, and communication in a variety of taxa ranging from opisthobranch molluscs to various birds and mammals, with most work undertaken in the new world and African tropics. He has been teaching undergraduate courses in animal communication since 1970.

Sandra L. Vehrencamp is Professor Emerita from Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. She received her B.A. with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from Cornell University. Since 1976, she has served on the faculty of the University of California at San Diego and Cornell University. Her research has included field and theoretical studies of cooperative breeding, determinants of skew in reproductive success within social groups, the role of resource dispersion in shaping social structure, the role of energetic limits on display behavior in competitive mate attraction systems, and the evolution of song structure and vocal repertoire size in various songbirds. She too has traveled widely in both the Americas and the Old World tropics in pursuit of her studies, and focal taxa have included bats, antelopes, fiddler crabs, waterbugs, cuckoos, jays, grouse, parrots, wrens, and song sparrows. She has been teaching animal communication courses since 1986.

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 1998


"Bradbury and Vehrencamp are to be congratulated for synthesizing a vast literature on a fascinating topic in animal behaviour and for communicating it in a lucid, digestible, and engaging way, with a balanced coverage across taxa. This book will be extremely useful both for students wishing to learn about the topic for the first time and for researchers wishing to update themselves on the field. Indeed, whether one has done extensive research in animal communication or is a complete novice to the field, this book and its associated online materials will be one of the most valuable sources that they can consult."--Mark E. Laidre, Animal Behaviour

"The first edition of this book immediately became a very useful reference. This new edition is all that a revision should be. The authors have added a lot. Most impressively, Bradbury and Vehrencamp gathered a galaxy of color illustrations that give the book a greater impact for readers. A good and important book just got better."--J. A. Mather, Choice

Table of Contents

    1. Signals and Communication

    2. Sound and Sound Signal Production

    3. Sound Signal Propagation and Reception

    4. Light and Visual Signal Production

    5. Visual Signal Propagation and Reception

    6. Chemical Signals

    7. Short Range Modalities

    8. Decisions, Signals and Information

    9. The Economics of Communication

    10. Signal Evolution

    11. Conflict Resolution

    12. Mate Attraction and Courtship

    13. Social Integration

    14. Environmental Signals

    15. Communication Networks

    16. The Broader View

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