Chapter

Introduction

Alexander H. Harcourt

in Gorilla Society

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780226316024
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226316048 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226316048.003.0001
Introduction

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  • Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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Socioecology is the study of how individuals' evolved survival, mating, and rearing strategies interact with the physical and social environments to produce the sort of society that we see. Primates, which live mostly in the tropics, are useful subjects of study in socioecology because they are so relatively well known, and their societies are so varied. Gorillas are an interesting primate because, being the largest bodied, they are an extreme, and extremes are always a good means of testing generalities. This book provides an easy introduction to modern thinking about socioecology in general and primate socioecology in particular by presenting the equivalent of a worked example of how socioecologists attempt to explain the nature of an animal's society. It explores the different survival, mating, and rearing strategies of the two sexes, as well as the socioecology of their strategies. The book offers suggestions for future research in gorilla and primate socioecology, assesses the future of gorillas as a species, and examines the relevance of gorilla socioecology to conservation.

Keywords: gorillas; socioecology; primates; tropics; conservation; survival; mating; gorilla society; strategies

Chapter.  4919 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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