Collective animal behavior.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.
Octavo, paperback, 312 pp. illustrations, graphs.
Fish travel in schools, birds migrate in flocks, honeybees swarm, and ants build trails. How and why do these collective behaviours occur? Exploring how coordinated group patterns emerge from individual interactions, this book reveals why animals produce group behaviours and examines their evolution across a range of species. Providing a synthesis of mathematical modelling, theoretical biology, and experimental work, David Sumpter investigates how animals move and arrive together, how they transfer information, how they make decisions and synchronize their activities, and how they build collective structures. Sumpter constructs a unified appreciation of how different group-living species coordinate their behaviours and why natural selection has produced these groups. For the first time, the book combines traditional approaches to behavioural ecology with ideas about self-organization and complex systems from physics and mathematics. Sumpter offers a guide for working with key models in this area along with case studies of their application, and he shows how ideas about animal behaviour can be applied to understanding human social behaviour. Also available in hardcover [stock id 32419].