Animal Behavior
How and Why Animals Do the Things They Do
by Ken Yasukawa, Editor
January 2014, 1235pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39870-4
$163, £121, 136€, A233
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39871-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Animal behaviorists have made remarkable discoveries—including ones about their cultures, cooperative systems, and communication—that help us to understand human behavior.

Discover why animals do what they do, based on their genes, physiologies, cultures, traditions, survival and mating advantages, and evolutionary histories—and find out how studying behavior in the animal world helps us understand human behavior.

The three volumes of Animal Behavior: How and Why Animals Do the Things They Do cover the breadth of the field, addressing causation, development, function, and evolution in a wide range of animals, from invertebrates to humans. Inspired by Nobel laureate Nikolaas Tinbergen’s work, the first two volumes follow Tinbergen’s four classic questions of animal behavior, while the third volume supplies integrated examples of Tinbergen’s investigative process applied in specific cases.

Written in an engaging, accessible manner ideal for college students as well as general audiences, this evidence-based collection provides a fascinating tour of animal behaviorists’ findings, such as how animal communication can be truthful or deceitful, the deadly serious business behind clashes in the “battle of the sexes,” and how documentation of animal behavior can lead to a deeper understanding of human behavior. Each chapter provides both historical background and information about current developments in animal behavior knowledge.


  • Provides readers with personal narratives from the researchers themselves, enabling rare insights into how researchers think and what drives their studies
  • Explains animal behavior on the animal's terms rather than anthropomorphizing its actions as is often done in the popular press and the media
  • Includes a comprehensive glossary of behavioral terms
Ken Yasukawa, PhD, is Mead Family Professor of Science and professor of biology at Beloit College, WI. His published works include ABC-CLIO's three-volume work, Animal Behavior; Polygyny and Sexual Selection in Red-winged Blackbirds, coauthored with William A. Searcy; and Exploring Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field, coauthored with Bonnie J. Ploger. Yasukawa holds a doctorate in zoology from Indiana University and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University Field Research Center.


"A notable strength of the entire collection is that the contributors try to explain not just what is currently understood about their topic, but also why they are interested in it and how they go about asking and answering the questions they raise. This set should be part of all academic libraries. Highly recommended."—Choice, October 1, 2014
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