Male primates, carnivores and rodents sometimes kill infants that they did not sire. Infanticide by males is a relatively common phenomenon in these groups, but tends to be rare in any given species. Is this behavior pathological or accidental, or does it reflect a conditional reproductive strategy for males in certain circumstances? In this book, case studies and reviews confirm the adaptive nature of infanticide in males in primates, and help to predict which species should be vulnerable to it. Much of the book is devoted to exploring the evolutionary consequences of the threat of infanticide by males for social and reproductive behavior and physiology. Written for graduate students and researchers in animal behavior, behavioral ecology, biological anthropology and social psychology, this book shows that social systems are shaped not only by ecological pressures, but also social pressures such as infanticide risk.

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