We teach our students of behavioural science that one first defines a research problem, and then the most appropriate animal is selected to investigate hypotheses. The reverse order of events is improper: a particular class of animals should not be studied for its own sake. In the case of the Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, fur seals and walruses) the organism and the problem are essentially the same. The research questions presented in this volume in one way or another relate to survival in two worlds, the ocean for foraging, and the terrain at its edge or frozen above it for breeding. The evolution of Pinniped behaviour and the mechanisms which underlie it are a consequence of having to cope with two seemingly incompatible sets of environmental constraints. The physiological adaptations for concomitant functioning in two media with very different physical characteristics have produced correlated behav ioural modifications. The energetic demands of reproduction and foraging are idiosyncratic because each activity occurs on opposite sides of the air/water interface. As a result, the mating system must reconcile aquatic design for such functions as locomotion and thermoregulation, with the terrestrial requirements for successful pupping. Similarly, the ecology of this dual habitat prescribes the rules governing the behaviour of the neonate and its interactions with its mother.
...offers some new and interesting insights by the authors... Transactions of the American Fishereis Society
Part 1 Determinants of mating systems in the otariidae (pinnipedia): overview of current theory; types of mating system among otariids; variation in the form of otariid mating systems. Part 2 Pinniped mating system on land, ice and in the water - emphasis on the phocidae: what do we expect in pinnipeds and other mammals?; what do we find in mammals?; what determines the distribution of females and the degree of polygyny?; do the unique features of pinnipeds give an advantage to one sex and affect the form that mating systems take?; what are the consequences of mating of land verses in the water?. Part 3 Behavioural ecology of pinniped neo-nates: life history characteristics; the lactation period; weaning; behaviour and diet of weaned pups; discussion. Part 4 Communication in pinnipeds, with special reference to non-acoustic signalling: signal structure and variation; some concepts in communication; combat behaviour and the communication of threat; ecological variation and time/activity budgets; evolutionary patterns. Part 5 Physiology of behaviour in pinnipeds: the physiology of reproductive behaviour; maternal behaviour; motor development and play; immune system; diving; metabolism; activity patterns; thermo-regulation; moult; orientation. Part 6 Reproductive and foraging energetics of pinnipeds - implications for life history patterns: reproductive biology; maternal investment; foraging behaviour. Part 7 Sensory reception - phocidae and otariidae: methodological caveats in psychophysical threshold measurement; vision; hearing; tactile sensation - vibrissae; chemo-reception; magnetic reception; discussion; umwelten - beyond the receptor.
Number Of Pages: 410
Published: 31st December 1990
Publisher: Chapman and Hall
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6
Weight (kg): 0.78