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Reproduction in Mammals

The Female Perspective

Virginia Hayssen and Teri J. Orr

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A fascinating look at the diverse reproductive strategies of numerous female mammals, from hyenas to goats, kangaroos to whales.

Newborn mammals can weigh as little as a dime or as much as a motorcycle. Some receive milk for only a few days, whereas others nurse for years. Humans typically have only one baby at a time following nine months of pregnancy, but other mammals have twenty or more young after only a few weeks in utero. What causes this incredible reproductive diversity?

In Reproduction in Mammals, Virginia Hayssen and Teri J. Orr present readers with a fascinating examination of the…

A fascinating look at the diverse reproductive strategies of numerous female mammals, from hyenas to goats, kangaroos to whales.

Newborn mammals can weigh as little as a dime or as much as a motorcycle. Some receive milk for only a few days, whereas others nurse for years. Humans typically have only one baby at a time following nine months of pregnancy, but other mammals have twenty or more young after only a few weeks in utero. What causes this incredible reproductive diversity?

In Reproduction in Mammals, Virginia Hayssen and Teri J. Orr present readers with a fascinating examination of the varied reproductive strategies of a broad spectrum of mammals, from marsupials to whales. This unique book's comprehensive coverage gathers stories from many taxa into a single, cohesive perspective that centers on the reproductive lives of females. The authors shed light on a number of intriguing questions, including

• do bigger moms have bigger babies?
• do primates have longer pregnancies than other groups?
• does habitat influence animals' reproductive patterns?
• do carnivores typically produce larger litters than prey species?

The book opens with the authors' definition of what constitutes a female perspective and an examination of the evolution of reproduction in mammals. It then outlines the typical individual mammalian female: her genetics, anatomy, and physiology. Taking a nuanced approach, Hayssen and Orr describe the female reproductive cycle and explore female mammals' interactions with males and offspring. Readers will come away from this thought-provoking book with an understanding of not only how reproduction fits into the lives of female mammals but also how biology has affected the enormously diverse reproductive patterns of the phenotypes we observe today.

Reviews

Reviews

In every chapter, the authors briefly describe things that we still need to know or that we know to some extent but need more data to improve our ability to test hypotheses. For this reason, this is a great book for beginning researchers or graduate students.

In the book, readers are presented with an examination of the varied reproductive strategies of a broad spectrum of mammals—from marsupials to whales. Its comprehensive coverage gathers many stories into a single, cohesive perspective that centers on the reproductive lives of females.

Reproduction in Mammals: The Female Perspective intends to highlight the full extent of variation in reproductive biology exhibited across (female) mammals. The authors merge information that might ordinarily be scattered across independent literatures from reproductive physiology, evolutionary biology, reproductive ecology, medicine, and conservation to present a holistic, interdisciplinary discussion.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
368
ISBN
9781421423159
Illustration Description
45 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. The Female Perspective
The Female Perspective Explained Further
Androcentric Terminology
Using Males to Understand Females
Language
2. Evolution and Diversity
Mammalian Evolution
Lay

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. The Female Perspective
The Female Perspective Explained Further
Androcentric Terminology
Using Males to Understand Females
Language
2. Evolution and Diversity
Mammalian Evolution
Laying on Land
Origin of Mammals (150 MYA to Today)
Origin of Lactation
Diversity of Mammals
Diversity of Mammals
Evolution in Retrospect
Part One
3. Inheritance
Sex Chromosomes
Sex Determination
X-Inactivation
Epigenetics—Genetics beyond Genes
Genetics
4. Anatomy
Oocyte/Ovum
Placenta
Ovaries
The Reproductive Tract
External Genitalia
Vasculature, Portal Systems, Innervation
Mammary Glands
Anatomy
5. Physiology
Four Pitfalls
A Brief Overview of Reproductive Physiology
Maternal Recognition of Pregnancy
Life-History Physiology
Physiology
Part Two
6. Oogenesis to Conception
Oogenesis and Folliculogenesis
Estrous Cycles and Neo-oogenesis
Diversity of Oogenesis and Folliculogenesis
Ovulation
Mating
Gamete Transport
Conception
In Sum: Female Choice
7. Gestation
Conception to Hatching
Conception to Birth
Conception to Implantation
Conceptus Changes
Implantation
Gestation
Pre- and Post-Implantation Delays and Diapause
Gestation Condensed
8. Birth and the Neonate
Monotreme Egg Laying and Hatching
Marsupial Birth
Eutherian Birth
Aftermath and Placentophagy
Neonates
Birth in Brief
9. Lactation
Cost of Lactation
Accommodating the Burden, or Paying the Price
Other Burdens of Lactation
How Long Is Lactation and What Determines This Duration?
Milk: Static and Dynamic
Control of Lactation
Finally, What Do Pups Do with Milk Once They Have It?
Lactation
10. Weaning and Beyond
Weaning
Size at Weaning, Weaning Mass
After Weaning
Reproductive Maturity or Puberty
Menopause, Reproductive Senescence, Post-Reproductive Life
Weaning and Beyond, Revisited
Part Three
11. Abiotic Influences on Mammalian Reproduction
Water: A Global Factor with Diverse Influences on Reproduction
The Arctic: A Regional Constellation of Abiotic Factors
Seasonality: Adaptations to Regular Abiotic Change
The Abiotic World: A Non-evolving Foundation
12. Interactions with Other Species
Eat or Be Eaten: Reproduction in the Context of Predators
Eat or Be Eaten: Reproduction in the Context of Microbes and Parasites
Eat or Be Eaten: Reproduction in the Context of Obtaining Food
Interactions of a Cooperative Nature
The Biotic Environment: Heterospecific Interactions
13. Social Life
Formation of Female Bonds
Caring for Offspring That Are Not Your Own—Alloparental Care
Reproductive Suppression and Infanticide
Conspecific Interactions Have Multiple Facets
Part Four
14. Conservation and Female Reproduction
Anthropogenic Influences on Reproduction
Reproduction and Conservation Efforts
The Naked Ape: Where Do We Fit?
15. Women as Mammals
Inheritance and Evolution, Anatomy and Physiology
Oogenesis to Menopause
Freeing Women from Biology?
Women in Context, Outside Influences
Reproductive Biology with a Cause: Conservation
Glossary
Literature Cited
Common Name Index
Scientific Name Index
Subject Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Virginia Hayssen

Virginia Hayssen is a professor of biological sciences at Smith College. She is the coauthor of Asdell’s Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction: A Compendium of Species-Specific Data.
Featured Contributor

Teri J. Orr

Teri J. Orr is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Utah.