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      SOCIAL INFORMATION USE IS A PROCESS ACROSS TIME, SPACE, AND ECOLOGY, REACHING HETEROSPECIFICS

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      Ecology
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Most cited references75

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          Social learning strategies.

          In most studies of social learning in animals, no attempt has been made to examine the nature of the strategy adopted by animals when they copy others. Researchers have expended considerable effort in exploring the psychological processes that underlie social learning and amassed extensive data banks recording purported social learning in the field, but the contexts under which animals copy others remain unexplored. Yet, theoretical models used to investigate the adaptive advantages of social learning lead to the conclusion that social learning cannot be indiscriminate and that individuals should adopt strategies that dictate the circumstances under which they copy others and from whom they learn. In this article, I discuss a number of possible strategies that are predicted by theoretical analyses, including copy when uncertain, copy the majority, and copy if better, and consider the empirical evidence in support of each, drawing from both the animal and human social learning literature. Reliance on social learning strategies may be organized hierarchically, their being employed by animals when unlearned and asocially learned strategies prove ineffective but before animals take recourse in innovation.
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            Arms Races between and within Species

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              Allometry of alarm calls: black-capped chickadees encode information about predator size.

              Many animals produce alarm signals when they detect a potential predator, but we still know little about the information contained in these signals. Using presentations of 15 species of live predators, we show that acoustic features of the mobbing calls of black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapilla) vary with the size of the predator. Companion playback experiments revealed that chickadees detect this information and that the intensity of mobbing behavior is related to the size and threat of the potential predator. This study demonstrates an unsuspected level of complexity and sophistication in avian alarm calls.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecology
                Ecology
                Wiley-Blackwell
                0012-9658
                July 2007
                July 2007
                : 88
                : 7
                : 1622-1633
                Article
                10.1890/06-1757.1
                569eeafb-c3b5-4136-a373-0c624dbd53eb
                © 2007

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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                Self URI (article page): http://doi.wiley.com/10.1890/06-1757.1

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