Kin recognition, or the ability to recognize one's genetic relations, is universal throughout the animal kingdom, from amebas to humans. This trait benefits the organism by helping to insure the survival of a specific gene group, and it is also an important factor in mate choice. Indeed, kin recognition is one of the fastest growing and most exciting areas of behavior. The study of kin recognition requires a multidisciplinary approach, and Dr. Hepper has brought together leading researchers from zoology, biology, psychology, and sociology to create a thought-provoking and critical analysis of our current knowledge of the phenomenon, with particular emphasis on the underlying processes involved and their significance for the evolution of social behavior. Together they attempt to answer the questions of how individuals recognize other individuals as kin, nonkin, or different classes of kin and why they respond differently to kin and nonkin.
"...useful, well edited and carefully balanced." Nature "This book updates an exciting and fast-moving field. It should appeal to a broad range of biologists and psychologists. The volume's strengths are its conceptual orientation and multiple investigative approaches." David W. Pfennig & Paul W. Sherman, Science "...a series of outstanding articles that examine how animals are able to recognize their kin...important for those professionals and graduate students interested in animal behavior." Choice "...extremely worthwhile. It is a must for kin recognition researchers, and it should also appeal to students of human and nonhuman behavior." George J. Gamboa, BioScience "...will be of great value to both investigators of kin recognition, and to the author or authors who produce the first complete synthesis of this field." Andrew Cockburn, Quarterly Review of Biology "...Hepper's volume contains many cautionary admonitions that primatologists would do well to heed." Donald Stone Sade, Iinternational Journal of Primatology