The Well-Connected Animal: Social Networks and the Wondrous Complexity of Animal Societies

Univ. of Chicago. May 2024. 264p. ISBN 9780226818788. $29. NAT HIST
For much of history, it was assumed that human beings were the only species with complex social networks, meaning that their behavior was thought out and reasoned. Nonhumans, it was assumed, operated largely through reflexes, with perhaps a little bit of sociality. Since the beginning of the 21st century, however, these assumptions have proven to be false, and studies on animal behavior have become a common part of biological research. In this work, animal behaviorist Dugatkin (biology, Univ. of Louisville; Evolution) has skillfully woven much of that research with dozens of personal conversations with scholars and researchers on the behavior of a variety of animals worldwide. His research is impeccable and highly detailed.
VERDICT This fascinating, easy-to-read work describes the how, what, and why of animal behavior, much of which is remarkably similar to humans. A must-purchase, this book presents what is easily the most intriguing, thorough explanation of animal behavior ever produced.
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