A Natural History of Families

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$16.16
(Save 40%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.37
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 72%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $7.37   
  • New (6) from $15.98   
  • Used (8) from $7.37   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 14 (2 pages)
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$7.37
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(49288)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Very Good
Ships same day or next business day via UPS (Priority Mail for AK/HI/APO/PO Boxes)! Used sticker and some writing and/or highlighting. Used books may not include working access ... code or dust jacket. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Columbia, MO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.39
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(7527)

Condition: Good
Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Green Earth Books. Read. Recycle and Reuse.

Ships from: Portland, OR

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$8.37
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(400)

Condition: Very Good
Fast shipping! Great condition with only minimal wear!

Ships from: Columbia, MO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$15.95
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(400)

Condition: Like New
Fast shipping! Excellent condition!

Ships from: Columbia, MO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$15.96
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(17546)

Condition: Acceptable
Used, Acceptable Condition, may show signs of wear and previous use. Please allow 4-14 business days for delivery. 100% Money Back Guarantee, Over 1,000,000 customers served.

Ships from: Westminster, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$15.98
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(966)

Condition: New
0691130353

Ships from: Pennington, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$23.29
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(4462)

Condition: New
New Book. Shipped from UK within 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000.

Ships from: Horcott Rd, Fairford, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$24.05
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(10212)

Condition: New
New Book. Shipped from US within 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000

Ships from: Secaucus, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$24.25
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(23367)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW

Ships from: Avenel, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$24.84
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(17546)

Condition: New
Brand New, Perfect Condition, Please allow 4-14 business days for delivery. 100% Money Back Guarantee, Over 1,000,000 customers served.

Ships from: Westminster, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 14 (2 pages)
Close
Sort by

Overview

Why do baby sharks, hyenas, and pelicans kill their siblings? Why do beetles and mice commit infanticide? Why are twins and birth defects more common in older human mothers? A Natural History of Families concisely examines what behavioral ecologists have discovered about family dynamics and what these insights might tell us about human biology and behavior. Scott Forbes's engaging account describes an uneasy union among family members in which rivalry for resources often has dramatic and even fatal consequences.

In nature, parents invest resources and control the allocation of resources among their offspring to perpetuate their genetic lineage. Those families sometimes function as cooperative units, the nepotistic and loving havens we choose to identify with. In the natural world, however, dysfunctional familial behavior is disarmingly commonplace.

While explaining why infanticide, fratricide, and other seemingly antisocial behaviors are necessary, Forbes also uncovers several surprising applications to humans. Here the conflict begins in the moments following conception as embryos struggle to wrest control of pregnancy from the mother, and to wring more nourishment from her than she can spare, thus triggering morning sickness, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Mothers, in return, often spontaneously abort embryos with severe genetic defects, allowing for prenatal quality control of offspring.

Using a broad sweep of entertaining examples culled from the world of animals and humans, A Natural History of Families is a lively introduction to the behavioral ecology of the family.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Danny Reviews
I found much of the medical material new. A Natural History of Families is recommended to anyone interested in evolutionary medicine, wanting a better understanding of pregnancy, or after a genetic perspective on family conflicts.
— Danny Yee
Times Literary Supplement - Seamus Sweeney
Forbes's writing is lively. . . . He explains evolutionary theory lucidly and well. . . . Forbes is good at explaining the subtlety and frequent counter-intuitiveness of current thinking on these topics.
Biologist - Nicola Vollenhoven
This is certainly worth reading if this is an area that you are interested in. Forbes obviously knows his subject.
Danny Reviews - Danny Yee
I found much of the medical material new. A Natural History of Families is recommended to anyone interested in evolutionary medicine, wanting a better understanding of pregnancy, or after a genetic perspective on family conflicts.
From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2005

"Forbes's writing is lively. . . . He explains evolutionary theory lucidly and well. . . . Forbes is good at explaining the subtlety and frequent counter-intuitiveness of current thinking on these topics."--Seamus Sweeney, Times Literary Supplement

"This absorbing read is an entertaining but sober addition to the library of anyone who is interested in family conflict and the natural world."--Biology Digest

"All will welcome [this book] as an interesting, well-researched, extraordinarily well-written, and occasionally humorous work in behavioral ecology."--Choice

"This is certainly worth reading if this is an area that you are interested in. Forbes obviously knows his subject."--Nicola Vollenhoven, Biologist

"I found much of the medical material new. A Natural History of Families is recommended to anyone interested in evolutionary medicine, wanting a better understanding of pregnancy, or after a genetic perspective on family conflicts."--Danny Yee, Danny Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
Forbes's writing is lively. . . . He explains evolutionary theory lucidly and well. . . . Forbes is good at explaining the subtlety and frequent counter-intuitiveness of current thinking on these topics.
— Seamus Sweeney
Biology Digest
This absorbing read is an entertaining but sober addition to the library of anyone who is interested in family conflict and the natural world.
Choice
All will welcome [this book] as an interesting, well-researched, extraordinarily well-written, and occasionally humorous work in behavioral ecology.
Biologist
This is certainly worth reading if this is an area that you are interested in. Forbes obviously knows his subject.
— Nicola Vollenhoven
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691130354
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/2007
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Forbes, Professor of Biology at the University of Winnipeg, is a behavioral ecologist whose chief research interest is the evolutionary ecology of families. He has published articles in a wide variety of journals, including "Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Ecology, Nature, American Naturalist", and "Trends in Ecology & Evolution".

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Chapter 1: Blame Parents 1
Do the Good Die Young? 3
The Family Myth 5

Chapter 2: The Optimistic Parent 9
The Evolution of Family Size 9
The Puzzle of Obligate Brood Reduction 10
How Many Babies? 11
Avian Families 16
Core and Marginal Offspring 16
Asymmetric Sibling Rivalr Creates Disposable Offspring 18
The Evolution of Family Structure 19
What Is Parental Optimism? 21
Why Parental Optimism? 23
Tracking Erratic Resources 23
Replacement 27
Facilitation 28
Multiple Incentives for Parental Optimism 29
Are Humans Optimistic Parents? 31

Chapter 3: Why Parents Play Favorites 32
Mom Always Liked You Best 32
The Fivefold Advantage of Favoritism 33
1. The Benefits and Costs of Unequal Parental Investment 34
2. Divestment of Unneeded Offspring 36
3. Benefits of Diversification 39
4. Correcting Earlier Decisions 41
5. Bet Hedging and Brood Reduction 41

Chapter 4: How Parents Play Favorites 43
What Is a Phenotypic Handicap? 43
How Birds Play Favorites 44
Primar Versus Secondar Handicaps 44
How Blackbirds Play Favorites 45
Reversible Handicaps 46
How Marsupials Play Favorites 47
Brood Reduction in Rabbits 49
How Plants Play Favorites 50
Different Species, Same Idea 51
Humans Play Favorites Too 52
Birth Order and Favoritism 53

Chapter 5: Family Conflict 55
Genetic Conflict between Parents and Offspring 55
Parent-Offspring Conflict 57
Pregnancy and Parent-Offspring Conflict 58
Natural-Born Cancers 60
Imprinted Genes in Humans 62
Genetic Conflict and Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome 64
Parent-Offspring Conflict over Embryo Growth 64
Imprinting and Gestational Diabetes 65
Pregnancy Sickness and Genetic Conflict 66
HCG: The Hormone of Pregnancy Sickness? 68
Evolution of Chorionic Gonadotropins in Primates 70
Chorionic Gonadotropins and Miscarriage 70

Chapter 6: Selfishness Unconstrained 78
Brood Parasitic Birds 79
Old World Cuckoos 79
. . . and New World Cowbirds 80
Cowbird Mafia? 80
Cuckoo Catfish 81
The Origins of Brood Parasitism 81
Adopting Runaways? 82
Forced Adoption of Nonkin 83
Voluntar Adoption of Nonkin 85
The Lesson of Brood Parasitism 86

Chapter 7: Screening for Offspring Quality 87
The Logic of Progeny Choice 87
Sequential versus Simultaneous Progeny Choice 88
Progeny Choice in Humans 89
Adaptive Miscarriage 90
Chromosomal Defects in Humans 91
Sex Chromosomes and Birth Defects 94
Turner's Syndrome and Genomic Imprinting 96
Birth Defects and Maternal Age 96
Rejecting Low-Quality Embryos 97
HCG and Adaptive Miscarriage 98
Relaxed Screening in Older Mothers? 100
Why Relaxed Selection? 103
Why More Spontaneous Abortions in Older Mothers? 104
The Origin of Genetic Defects 105
The Shadow of Menopause 105
Screening, Maternal Age, and the Role of Genomic Imprinting 106
Maternal Age and Twinning 108

Chapter 8: Why Twins? 109
The Evolution of Brood and Family Size 109
Fault-Tolerant Design in Humans 111
Twinning as an Insurance Strategy 112
Insurance Offspring in Birds 113
In Vitro Fertilization and Twinning 114
Age, Trisomy 21,and Twinning 117
More Than Just Polyovulation 118
Twinning and Individual Optimization 121
Fit or Fat? 124
A Womb for Two 126
Natural Selection on Twinning Frequency 126
Brood Reduction before Birth? 127

Chapter 9: Fatal Sibling Rivalry 129
Siblicide 129
Desperado Siblings Result from Extreme Favoritism 132
The Good and the Best 133
Facultative Versus Obligate Brood Reduction 135
Ultraselfish Alleles 137
Human Twins 139
''Biological'' Influences 144

Chapter 10: Family Harmony 147
Cooperation in Families 147
The Arthur Dent Effect 148
Why Cooperation? 148
The Road to Cooperation 150
Parental Optimism and the Evolution of Cooperation 151
Polyembryony and New Roles for Marginal Offspring 152
Parasitoid Wasps 153
Adaptive Suicide? 154
The Benefits of Teamwork 156
Social Insects: The Ultimate Team Players 157
Trophic Offspring 160
Sibling Synergies in Birds and Mammals 160
Conflict When Necessary, but Not Necessarily Conflict 162
Cooperative Defense . . . against Parents? 166
Facilitation in Humans? 167
Finding Their Niche: Birth Order and Human Behavior 168

Chapter 11: Cannibalism and Infanticide 171
The Pathways to Cannibalism 171
Honey, I Ate the Kids 171
Offspring Designed to be Eaten 174
The Pathways to Infanticide 175
Sexually Selected Infanticide 175
Killer Rodents 176
Infanticide in Families 178
The Unwilling Parent? 178

Chapter 12: Brave New Worlds 182
Artificial Parental Optimism and Infanticide 184
An Epidemic of Multiple Births 185
Risks of Multiple Gestation 186
The Ghost in the Machine 187
Embryo Reduction 188
Artificial Progeny Choice 189
Refining Artificial Progeny Choice 190
Does Assisted Reproduction Cause Low-Quality Progeny? 191
Send in the Clones 192
Parental Optimism and the Law of Unintended Consequences 194
Blame Parents 195

Chapter 13: Debunking the Family Myth 197

Selected References 201
Index 229

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)