This book is the first monograph in English on the 34 shrike species distributed across Africa, Eurasia and North America. These birds have attracted the attention of ornithologists for a long time, mainly because of their predatory nature and the ...
methods which they use to dispatch their prey. In the book, the most important information on shrikes of the World is summarized, much of which has accumulated in the ornithological literature and obtained by the author himself. These voluminous empirical data are also used by the author in an attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the group at different stages of its phylogenesis, from the early origins of the family Laniidae, presumably in Africa, through the secondary expansion of species across Eurasia and into the New World. Also examined here, all within the framework of an integral system of adaptation, are evolutionary trends affecting changes in body size and plumage coloration, foraging behavior, breeding dispersion, motor signal behavior and vocalizations. Special attention is paid to the development of signal and communication behavior in groups of closely related species at different stages of their divergent evolution. The breakdown of iso lating mechanisms, leading to hybridization and a local fusion of closely related species in their sec ondary contact zones, its causes and dynamics, is another fascinating topic dealt with in the book. The results of recent molecular studies on shrikes are discussed as well. The author, an exceptionally skilled observer and interpreter of bird behavior, has drawn on his immense experience of many hours spent watching shrikes in the field and has reared young shrikes in captivity. The book's thought-provoking text is well supported by an array of diagrams, tables, drawings by the author, and color photo graphs of birds and habitats. Evgeniy N. Panov D.Sc. was born in Moscow in 1936. For a long time Professor E. N. Panov was leading the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology and Biocommunication at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution (Russian Academy of Sciences). Having graduated from the Chair of Vertebrate Zoology at the Moscow State University in 1959, he began his career as a field zoologist in the Kedrovaya Pad' State Nature Reserve, Russian Far East. Data collected there served as a basis for the book "The Birds of South Ussuriland" (1973), which was later translated into Japanese. During extensive and wide-ranging travels in Siberia and former Soviet Central Asia, he studied the behavior of birds and reptiles. Evgeniy Panov used ornithological data gathered as part of the fieldwork undertaken in those countries to write two books, which were published in Germany in the series Die Neue Brehm-Bucherei: Die Steinschmatzer der nordlichen Palaarktis (1974) on wheatears, and Die Wurger der Palaarktis (1996), which focused on the shrikes of the Palearctic. The book Wheatears of the Palearctic was published with Pensoft in 2005. In recent decades Evgeniy Panov has developed a particular interest in the science of animal communication and the origin of human language. A fascination with this topic led to the book Signs, Symbols, Languages (1980, 2011), which appeared in German as Die Geburt der Sprache (1985), and was also translated into Czech. Social organization in the animal world and in humans is similarly a subject that has captured the author's interest, and this eventually found expression in another book, Escape from Solitude, which was published in 2001 and republished in 2011. Evgeniy Panov's books have earned him high praise. His outstanding contribution to research into the evolution of animal behavior was recognized in 1993 when he was awarded The State Prize of the Russian Federation. The award of prizes by various societies - The Moscow Naturalists (1983, 1989), "Knowledge" (1989), and "The Public Understanding of Ecology" (2002) - is further testimony to his many notable achievements.
Number of pages: 910
Date of publication: 03/01/2011
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