Costly signalling: A work in progress

Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):405-416 (2009)
The Evolution of Animal Communication is a detailed examination of a wide variety of animal signalling systems. The main focus of the book is explaining how such signalling systems remain reliable when there is apparent evolutionary pressure to deceive. The principle strategy is to appeal to signal costs: signals remain reliable because the potential benefits of deceit are outweighed by the costs of producing the deceptive signal. In this review I show just how difficult this idea is to test, even in the simplest cases.
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