Social Regulation of Competition and Aggression in Animals

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Virtually every encounter between individual animals is characterized by some degree of hostility or fear. But one cannot perpetually fight of flee. Animals find it advantageous to control their hostile impulses through an array of strategies and tactics.

An acute observer, of animal behavior, Martin H. Moynihan uses a wide array of comparative studies to detail the diversity, mechanics, and evolutionary origins of the means by which animals keep their aggression in check. He follows birds, primates, and cephalopods in their natural settings, analyzing not only such simple behaviors as habituation and retreat but also more intricate interactions such as redirection attacks, excluding other animals from opportunities in dominance relationships.