Far from being an abnormal or infrequent activity, cannibalism is a naturally occurring behavior with far-reaching implications for the ecology, life history, and evolution of many species. This book offers the first detailed review of the subject, covering the contextual and taxonomic diversity of cannibalism, and explaining its costs, benefits and taxonomic consequences for a broad distribution of species from lower eukaryotes to higher primates. The authors explore the different varieties of cannibalism, including infanticide, mating and courtship rituals, gerontophagy, oophagy, and competitive interactions. They also assess the ecological and evolutionary causes and effects of cannibalistic behavior, using the theoretical tools successfully applied to the study of foraging behavior, sociality, demography, and genetics. These findings will interest a broad audience of ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and students of animal behavior.
'Elgar and Crespi provide a valuable overview of the occurrence and significance of cannibalism'
Martin Hancox, International Zoo News, No. 239, Vol. 39/6
'For anyone interested in cannibalism this will be a key text for some years.'
Carl Smith, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Volume 3, Number 1, March 1993
'a refreshing examination of a part of animal behaviour we more readily associate with humans ... the editors have disciplined the various authors to retain a clear view of the evolutionary implication of accounts each presents ... This book provides overwhelming evidence of the importance of cannibalism in natural systems. If I had not been presented with a copy for writing this review, I would buy it. As a reference text, it will certainly appear on my
department's library shelf.'
Winston J. Bailey, University of Western Australia, J. Aust. ent. Soc., 1993, 32
'Students of ecology, evolutionary biology, and animal behavior will most certainly find this book useful and interesting.'
Israel Journal of Zoology, Vol. 39, 1993
M. Elgar & B. Crespi: Ecology and evolution of cannibalism; G. Dong & G. Polis: Dynamics of cannibalistic populations; C. Sargent: Ecology of filial cannibalism in fishes; D. Haig: Brood reduction in gymnosperms; D. Waddell: Cannibalism in lower eukaryotes; B. Baur: Cannibalism in gastropods; M. Elgar: Sexual cannibalism in spiders and other invertebrates; L. Stevens: Cannibalism in beetles; B. Crespi: Cannibalism and trophic eggs in subsocial
and eusocial insects; P. Kukuk: Cannibalism in social bees; C. Fitzgerald & F. Whoriskey: Empirical studies of cannibalism in fish; M. Crump: Cannibalism in amphibians; M. Stanback & W. Koenig: Cannibalism in birds; R.
Elwood: Pup cannibalism in rodents; M. Hiraiwa-Hasegawa: Cannibalism among non-human primates.