American Pronghorn: Social Adaptations and the Ghosts of Predators Past

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 1997 - Nature - 300 pages
0 Reviews
Pronghorn antelope are the fastest runners in North America, clocked at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. Yet none of their current predators can come close to running this fast. Pronghorn also gather in groups, a behavior commonly viewed as a "safety in numbers" defense. But again, none of their living predators are fearsome enough to merit such a response.

In this elegantly written book, John A. Byers argues that these mystifying behaviors evolved in response to the dangerous predators with whom pronghorn shared their grassland home for nearly four million years: among them fleet hyenas, lions, and cheetahs. Although these predators died out ten thousand years ago, pronghorn still behave as if they were present—as if they were living with the ghosts of predators past.

Byers's provocative hypothesis will stimulate behavioral ecologists and mammalogists to consider whether other species' adaptations are also haunted by selective pressures from predators past. The book will also find a ready audience among evolutionary biologists and paleontologists.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Chapter One Survivors from Another World
1
Chapter Two Methods and Materials
15
Modal Social Organization
23
Chapter Four Birth and the Hiding Strategy
52
Chapter Vive Behavioral Development
79
Chapter Six Lifetime Dominance Ranks of Females and Males
102
The Level of Expenditure
119
Age Rank and Individual Differences
149
A Short Dangerous Life
171
Conflict and Cooperation between the Sexes
206
Chapter Eleven The Ghosts of Predators Past
234
appendix 1
245
APPENDIX 3
248
Author Index
289
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

John A. Byers is Professor of Zoology, University of Idaho.

Bibliographic information