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The Evolution of Avian Breeding Systems

The Evolution of Avian Breeding Systems

Author: J. David Ligon

Published: 1999-03-01

Publisher's Description:

Ever since Darwin, birds have provided much of the stimulus for the study of evolution and natural selection. This volume in the Oxford Ornithology Series looks at three of the most fascinating aspects of their reproductive biology: sexual selection, parental care, and mating systems. It provides empirical assessments of the main theories of mate choice by females and includes numerous related topics such as the role of sexual selection in speciation. It examines the often extreme sexual dimorphism in plumage and the bewildering array of ornamentation and courtship displays. Although most avian species are socially monogamous, others exhibit polygyny or polyandry of various forms, and the book looks at the effects of these extra-pair copulations on paternity and on the evolution of mating systems. Throughout the book the various theories are illustrated with extensive examples drawn a wide range of species, making it a valuable resource for all ornithologists and student of animal behavior.


Illustrations by Mike Ramos
528 pages; 80 figures;


  • Language: English
  • Biogeographical Realm: Global
  • Countries Covered:
  • Families Covered:

Publisher External link icon

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • City: Oxford
  • Country: United Kingdom


  • Series Title: Oxford Ornithology Series
  • Number in Series: 10
  • Series Editor:

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  • Date Published: 28 Feb 1999
  • ISBN-10: 019854913X
  • ISBN-13: 9780198549130