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By P. C. Lee

Comparative stories became either extra common and extra vital as a method for knowing the biology, behaviour and evolution of mammals. Primates have complicated social relationships and various ecologies, and signify a wide species radiation. This ebook attracts jointly quite a lot of specialists from fields as various as reproductive biology and foraging energetics to put contemporary box learn right into a man made standpoint. The chapters take on debatable matters in primate biology and behavior, together with the position of mind growth and infanticide within the evolution of primate behavioural innovations. The ebook additionally offers an summary of comparative methodologies as utilized to contemporary primate learn for you to offer new techniques to comparative learn. it is going to be of specific curiosity to primatologists, behavioural ecologists and people drawn to the evolution of human social behaviour.

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However, the intellectual dependency is not just unidirectional. Without comparative analyses, single-species studies would merely produce uninterpretable descriptions lacking any sense of context, any means of determining important and interesting features, and any basis on which to decide what questions are worth investigating. The comparative method is the fundamental tool of evolutionary biology. It can produce wellfounded interpretations and explanations of the natural world. However, it is not easy to negotiate the complications and obscurity, in Stuart Mill’s terms, of the ‘natural experiments’ of evolution that provide most of the raw data.

C. A. (1993). Effect of SCN lesions on sleep in squirrel monkeys: evidence for opponent processing in sleep—wake regulation. Journal of Neurosciences 13, 1065—79. Eldredge, N. and Cracraft, J. (1980). Phylogenetic Patterns and the Evolutionary Process. New York: Columbia University Press. D. H. (1988). Sleep in mammals. Animal Behaviour 36, 1407—19. D. H. (1990). Sources of variation in mammalian sleep. Animal Behaviour 40, 991—5. Elton, C. (1930). Animal Ecology and Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

In short, a cladistic treatment of this information suggests that a significant shift in the character of sleep occurred at or soon after the Strepsirhine—Haplorhine split, although at this stage the mechanisms and causes of the event are unknown and merit further investigation. Species differences in mammalian sleep characteristics are often assumed to relate directly to ecological conditions. It is suggested, for example, that cetacean unihemispheric sleep is an adaptation to the marine environment, and that, in general, predator species with secure sleeping conditions have longer periods of uninterrupted sleep and paradoxical sleep than prey species with insecure conditions (Allison and Van Twyver, 1970; Hediger, 1980).

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