|Description||The scientific study of frogs and toads as important systems in behavioural ecology traces its roots to an influential review published in this journal 36 years ago (Wells 1977a, ‘The social behaviour of anuran amphibians’, Animal Behaviour, 25, 666–693). In just 28 pages, Wells summarized the state of knowledge on important behaviours associated with anuran breeding and introduced an evolutionary framework ‘for understanding the relationship between social behaviour and ecology’ (page 666) that was largely lacking in earlier treatments of this group. Not only is Wells's review one of the most cited papers ever published in Animal Behaviour, it is also responsible for setting broad research agendas and shaping much of our current thinking on social behaviour in an entire order of vertebrates. As such, it is entirely appropriate that we honour Wells's review and its contributions to the study of animal behaviour in this inaugural essay celebrating 12 papers selected by the community as the most influential papers published in the 60-year history of Animal Behaviour. In our essay, we place Wells's review in historical context at the dawn of behavioural ecology, highlight the field's progress in answering some major research questions outlined in the review, and provide our own prospectus for future research on the social behaviour of anuran amphibians.
► This essay celebrates Kent Wells's (1977, Animal Behaviour, 25, 666–693) paper, ‘The social behaviour of anuran amphibians’. ► We place the article in historical context and outline its major contributions. ► We discuss progress on anuran social behaviour since its publication in 1977. ► We provide our own prospectus on the future of anuran behavioural ecology.||en_US