© 2014

The Evolution of Mammalian Sociality in an Ecological Perspective


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ecology book series (BRIEFSECOLOGY)

About this book


This brief discusses factors associated with group formation, group maintenance, group population structure, and other events and processes (e.g., physiology, behavior) related to mammalian social evolution. Within- and between-lineages, features of prehistoric and extant social mammals, patterns and linkages are discussed as components of a possible social “tool-kit”.  "Top-down” (predators to nutrients), as well as “bottom-up” (nutrients to predators) effects are assessed.  The present synthesis also emphasizes outcomes of Hebbian (synaptic) decisions on Malthusian parameters (growth rates of populations) and their consequences for (shifting) mean fitnesses of populations.  Ecology and evolution (EcoEvo) are connected via the organism’s “norms of reaction” (genotype x environment interactions; life-history tradeoffs of reproduction, survival, and growth) exposed to selection, with the success of genotypes influenced by intensities of selection as well as neutral (e.g. mutation rates) and stochastic effects.  At every turn, life history trajectories are assumed to arise from “decisions” made by types responding to competition for limiting resources constrained by Hamilton’s rule (inclusive fitness operations).


Functional Traits Mammals Morphology Population Reaction norms Social evolution

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Mammals and Phenogroups (MaP)AshevilleUSA

About the authors

Clara B. Jones received her Ph.D. in Biopsychology from Cornell University. Since then she has served as Harvard University Postdoctoral Fellow in Population Genetics and as visiting faculty at Rutgers University in New Jersey as well as a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Bavaria. Dr. Jones has conducted fieldwork in Central and South America and has published over 100 articles and book chapters as well as four books.

Bibliographic information