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The Social Behavior of Older Animals

Anne Innis Dagg

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How do young and old social animals view each other? Are aged animals perceived by others as weaker? Or wiser? What is the relationship between age and power among social animals?

Taking a cue from Frans de Waal’s seminal work examining the lives of chimpanzees, Anne Innis Dagg in this pioneering study probes the lives of older mammals and birds. Synthesizing the available scientific research and anecdotal evidence, she explores how aging affects the lives and behavior of animals ranging from elk to elephants and gulls to gorillas, examining such topics as longevity; how others in a group view...

How do young and old social animals view each other? Are aged animals perceived by others as weaker? Or wiser? What is the relationship between age and power among social animals?

Taking a cue from Frans de Waal’s seminal work examining the lives of chimpanzees, Anne Innis Dagg in this pioneering study probes the lives of older mammals and birds. Synthesizing the available scientific research and anecdotal evidence, she explores how aging affects the lives and behavior of animals ranging from elk to elephants and gulls to gorillas, examining such topics as longevity; how others in a group view senior members in regard to leadership, wisdom, and teaching; mating success; interactions with mates and offspring; how aging affects dominance; changes in aggressive behavior and adaptability; and death and dying.

At once instructive and compelling, this theme-spanning book reveals the complex nature of maturity in scores of social species and shows that animal behavior often displays the same diversity we find in ourselves.

Reviews

Reviews

I feel grateful to Dagg for trying to bring the strands of a relatively unknown literature together.

Dagg's book should be a corrective to us all; species that lose or ignore the contributions of their older members do so at their peril.

Humans and chimps, it turns out, value age in sexual partners very differently. In our species youth is prized, but among chimps the reverse is the case.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
240
ISBN
9780801890505
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Evolutionary Matters
2. Sociality, Media, and Variability
3. The Wisdom of Elders
4. Leaders
5. Teaching and Learning
6. Reproduction
7. Successful Subordinates
8. The Fall of

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Evolutionary Matters
2. Sociality, Media, and Variability
3. The Wisdom of Elders
4. Leaders
5. Teaching and Learning
6. Reproduction
7. Successful Subordinates
8. The Fall of Titans
9. Aging of Captive Alphas
10. Happy Families
11. Mothering—Good and Not So Good
12. Grandmothers
13. Sexy Seniors
14. Their Own Person
15. Adapting and Not Adapting
16. All Passion Spent
17. The Inevitable End
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Anne Innis Dagg
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Anne Innis Dagg

Anne Innis Dagg teaches in the Independent Studies program of the University of Waterloo. She is the author of over a dozen books, most recently “Love of Shopping” Is Not a Gene: Problems with Darwinian Psychology and Pursuing Giraffe: A 1950s Adventure.
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