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Sing, Prance, Ruffle, Bellow, Bristle and Ooze

Armand Marie Leroi: Social Selection, 17 September 1998

The Handicap Principle 
by Amotz Zahavi and Avishag Zahavi.
Oxford, 286 pp., £18.99, October 1997, 0 19 510035 2
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The Social Animal 
by W.G. Runciman.
HarperCollins, 230 pp., £14.99, February 1998, 0 00 255862 9
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... the predator begins its strike do the gazelles pick up and run. This is the sort of thing that Amotz and Avishag Zahavi, two biologists from Tel-Aviv University, call a ‘handicap’: a behaviour or structure which seemingly defies Darwinian rationality. A stotting gazelle wastes energy that might surely be better used ...

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