Tuesday, May 3, 2011
1) Shumaker, Robert W., Kristina R. Walkup, and Benjamin B. Beck. Animal Tool Behavior: The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals (revised and updated edition). 2011. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 282 pages. Price: $65.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: When published in 1980, Benjamin B. Beck's Animal Tool Behavior was the first volume to catalog and analyze the complete literature on tool use and manufacture in non-human animals. Beck showed that animals—from insects to primates—employed different types of tools to solve numerous problems. His work inspired and energized legions of researchers to study the use of tools by a wide variety of species.
In this revised and updated edition of the landmark publication, Robert W. Shumaker and Kristina R. Walkup join Beck to reveal the current state of knowledge regarding animal tool behavior. Through a comprehensive synthesis of the studies produced through 2010, the authors provide an updated and exact definition of tool use, identify new modes of use that have emerged in the literature, examine all forms of tool manufacture, and address common myths about non-human tool use. Specific examples involving invertebrates, birds, fish, and mammals describe the differing levels of sophistication of tool use exhibited by animals.
RECOMMENDATION: A good overview on the subject.