Animal Behaviour

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Tristram D. Wyatt

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198712154

Category: Science

Page: 146

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Animal behaviour is a central topic of zoology, and with the development of ideas concerning the role of genes as well as environment the subject has been transformed. Tristram Wyatt gives a modern view, including a sense of the power of gene knock-outs, computing and image analysis to enable detailed experiments and observations of behaviour.

Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David DeGrazia

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780192853608

Category: Nature

Page: 131

View: 2174

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By presenting models for understanding animals' moral status and rights, and examining their mental lives and welfare, the author explores the implications for how we should treat animals in connection with our diet, zoos, and research.

The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Holland

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199593213

Category: Science

Page: 126

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Molecular biology has revolutionized our understanding of animals and their evolution. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Holland provides an authoritative summary of the modern view of animal life, its origins, and the new classification resulting from DNA studies.

Evolution: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Brian Charlesworth,Deborah Charlesworth

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198804369

Category:

Page: 160

View: 1076

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Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the Earth was at the centre of a Universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the Universe was createdessentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Even less than 150 years ago, the view that living species were the result of special creation by God was still dominant. The recognition by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace of the mechanism of evolution by natural selection hascompletely transformed our understanding of the living world, including our own origins. In this Very Short Introduction Brian and Deborah Charlesworth provide a clear and concise summary of the process of evolution by natural selection, and how natural selection gives rise to adaptations and eventually, over many generations, to new species. They introduce the central concepts of thefield of evolutionary biology, as they have developed since Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago, and discuss some of the remaining questions regarding processes. They highlight the wide range of evidence for evolution, and the importance of an evolutionary understanding forinstance in combating the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs. This reissue includes some key updates to the main text and a completely updated Further Reading section.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Animal Behavior

A Beginner's Guide

Author: John Byers

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1780742614

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 2721

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Why do birds have regional accents? Can horses learn math? What do animals without eyes see? Questions such as these have fascinated scientists and animal lovers alike long before ethology — the study of animal behavior — became recognized as a science in the 1970s. Now, as issues of conservation and welfare dominate the field, an understanding of how and why animals act the way they do has become even more critical. Communicating the passion of the scientists who have driven the discipline, John Byers draws together evolutionary theory, ecology, population biology, genetics, physiology, and anatomy to demonstrate the diversity involved when studying animals. By explaining the mechanisms and motivations behind a range of animal movements he illuminates key issues about our own behavior while equipping readers with the core knowledge and skills to further their own studies.

Darwin: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Howard

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854542

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 125

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Arguments still rage about the implications of the evolutionary theory, and scepticism about Darwin's contribution to knowledge is widespread. This accessible study reasserts the importance of Darwin's work for the development of modern biology.

Veterinary Science: A Very Short Introduction

Author: James Yeates

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192508407

Category: Medical

Page: 144

View: 5462

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Every year billions of animals, from housecats to racehorses to pythons, are treated by veterinarians. The use of veterinary science to treat the health of animals has a long history; for the past five centuries it has developed as our understanding of animals' fundamental biology, pathology, and pharmacology has grown. Rapid global changes expected in the twenty-first century will require the profession to respond proactively, embracing new challenges and opportunities. James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSPCA, introduces the field of veterinary science, covering the history of its scientific and clinical aspects from early practices to recent challenges such as the outbreak of BSE and antibiotic resistance, and considering the differences between human medicine and veterinary medicine. Analysing the key roles played by diagnosis, treatment, and prevention with regard to the health of farm animals and pets, he relates this to wider aspects concerning public health, such as zoonoses (diseases that jump from animals to humans). Yeates also covers recent 'One Health' approaches involving the health of both humans and animals, seen as synergistic, and discusses the challenges for the future of veterinary medicine, including the ethical dilemmas in balancing the interests of owners and animals when they do not coincide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sebastian G. B. Amyes

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191654086

Category: Medical

Page: 144

View: 8486

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Bacteria form a fundamental branch of life. They are the oldest forms of life as we know it, and they are still the most prolific living organisms. They inhabit every part of the Earth's surface, its ocean depths, and even terrains such as boiling hot springs. They are most familiar as agents of disease, but benign bacteria are critical to the recycling of elements and all ecology, as well as to human health. In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria, their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease. In looking at our efforts to manage co-evolving bacteria, he also considers the challenges of resistance to antibiotics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Learning

Author: Mark Haselgrove

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199688362

Category: Psychology

Page: 144

View: 7596

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What is learning? How does it take place? What happens when it goes wrong? The topic of learning has been central to the development of the science of psychology since its inception. Without learning there can be no memory, no language and no intelligence. Indeed it is rather difficult to imagine a part of psychology, or neuroscience, that learning does not touch upon. In this Very Short Introduction Mark Haselgrove describes learning from the perspective of associative theories of classical and instrumental conditioning, and considers why these are the dominant, and best described analyses of learning in contemporary psychology. Tracing the origins of these theories, he discusses the techniques used to study learning in both animals and humans, and considers the importance of learning for animal behaviour and survival. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Sexual Selection: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Marlene Zuk,Leigh W. Simmons

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191084417

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 4317

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What is responsible for the differences between the sexes in so many animals, from the brilliant plumage of birds of paradise to the antlers on deer? And why are the traits that distinguish the sexes sometimes apparently detrimental to survival? Even when they look more or less alike, why do males and females sometimes behave differently? Questions like these have intrigued scientists and the public alike for many years, and new discoveries are showing us both how wildly variable the natural world is, and how some basic principles can help explain much of that variation. Like natural selection, sexual selection is a process that results from differential representation of genes in successive generations. Under sexual selection, however, the crucial characteristics that determine whether an individual reproduces depend on sexual competition, rather than survival ability. This Very Short Introduction considers the history of our understanding of sexual selection, from Darwin's key insights to the modern day. Considering the investment animals place on reproduction, variation in mating systems, sexual conflict, and the origin of sexual dimorphism, Marlene Zuk and Leigh Simmons discuss questions such as whether females can really choose between males on aesthetic grounds, and how sexual conflict is resolved in different species. They conclude with a consideration of the thorny question of how, and even if, sexual selection theory applies to humans. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Perception: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Brian J. Rogers,Brian Rogers

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198791003

Category:

Page: 184

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Perception is one of the oldest and most deeply investigated topics in the field of psychology, and it also raises some profound philosophical questions. It is concerned with how we use the information reaching our senses to guide and control our behavior as well as to create our particular, subjective experiences of the surrounding world. In this Very Short Introduction, Brian J. Rogers discusses the philosophical question of what it means to perceive, as well as describing how we are able to perceive the particular characteristics of objects and scenes such as their lightness, color, form, depth, and motion. What we perceive, however, does not always correspond to what exists in the world and, as Rogers shows, the study of illusions can be useful in telling us something about the nature and limitations of our perceptual processes. Rogers also explores perception from an evolutionary perspective, explaining how evolutionary pressures have shaped the perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He shows that perception is not necessarily a separate and independent process but rather part of a "perceptual system," involving both the extraction of perceptual information and the control of action. Rogers goes on to cover the significant progress made recently in the understanding of perception through the use of precise and controlled psychophysical methods, single cell recordings, and imaging techniques. There have also been many insights from attempts to model perceptual processes in artificial systems. As Rogers shows, these attempts have revealed how difficult it is to program machines to perform even the most simple of perceptual tasks that we take for granted. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ken Binmore

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191579580

Category: Mathematics

Page: 200

View: 8863

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Games are everywhere: Drivers manoeuvring in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. A firm negotiating next year's wage is playing a bargaining game. The opposing candidates in an election are playing a political game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. Game theory is about how to play such games in a rational way. Even when the players have not thought everything out in advance, game theory often works for the same reason that mindless animals sometimes end up behaving very cleverly: evolutionary forces eliminate irrational play because it is unfit. Game theory has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science. This Very Short Introduction introduces the fascinating world of game theory, showing how it can be understood without mathematical equations, and revealing that everything from how to play poker optimally to the sex ratio among bees can be understood by anyone willing to think seriously about the problem. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Economics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Partha Dasgupta

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578281

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

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Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Sound

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mike Goldsmith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198708440

Category: Science

Page: 144

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Sound is integral to how we experience the world, in the form of noise as well as music. But what is sound? What is the physical basis of pitch and harmony? And how are sound waves exploited in musical instruments? In this Very Short Introduction Mike Goldsmith looks at the science of sound and explores sound in different contexts, covering the audible and inaudible, sound underground and underwater, accoustic and electric, and hearing in humans and animals. He also considers the problem of sound out of place - noise and its reduction. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803603

Category: Science

Page: 131

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This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.

Hormones

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Martin Luck

Publisher: American Chemical Society

ISBN: 0199672873

Category: Science

Page: 136

View: 1695

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Hormones are vital to the workings of the body, and while many people are aware of what hormones do, few have an appreciation of the nature and importance of the endocrine system. In this very short introduction, Martin Luck explains what hormones are, what they do, where they come from, and how they work.

Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Timothy Rice

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199794375

Category: Music

Page: 151

View: 3559

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Ethnomusicology, an academic discipline founded in 1950, has been defined as the study of the music of others. This definition, at once whimsical and very nearly true, is incomplete. Many of its strongest threads have emerged because a person or a people have wanted to understand themselves, their history, and their identity.

Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard J. Crisp

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191024783

Category: Psychology

Page: 144

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Social psychology is about the people who populate our everyday lives, and how they affect our 'personal universe', defining who we are, and shaping our behaviour, beliefs, attitudes, and ideology. In an age where we've mapped the human genome and explored much of the physical world, the study of people's behaviour is one of the most exciting frontiers of scientific endeavor. In this Very Short Introduction Richard Crisp tells the story of social psychology, its history, concepts and major theories. Discussing the classic studies that have defined the discipline, Crisp introduces social psychology's key thinkers, and shows how their personal histories spurred them to understand what connects people to people, and the societies in which we live. Taking us from the first ideas of the discipline to its most cutting edge developments, Crisp demonstrates how social psychology remains profoundly relevant to everyday life. From attitudes to attraction, prejudice to persuasion, health to happiness - social psychology provides insights that can change the world, and help us tackle the defining problems of the 21st century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Organizations: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mary Jo Hatch

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019161498X

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 5464

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Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become in the future? How and why do they have so much influence over us, and what influences them? How do they contribute to and detract from the meaningfulness of lives, and how might we improve them so they better serve our needs and desires? This Very Short Introductions addresses all of these questions and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.