According to book Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions o Evolution. (Lane, N.;2010),

Motility has indeed transformed life on earth in ways that are not immediately apparent, from the complexity of ecosystems.

As I understand it, when animals had begun to actively use their bodies to locate resources and thus left the sedentary way of life the amount of information they received has increased exponentially. It induced the rapid evolution of additional physiological, morphological and behavioural adaptations such as specialized brain regions enabling spatial memory, vision or cognition⁠.

Was sociality also additional adaption induced by motility? Is sociality as a life strategy present only in mobile animal species, or they exist also a social sedentary organisms?

Working definition of sociality: Forming of animal group where information transfer enable cooperation among individuals.

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    $\begingroup$ I think a working definition of sociality would be useful, since the question covers a large range of organism types. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Oct 27 '14 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @fileunderwater. An edit was made, I hope this definition of sociality is sufficient. $\endgroup$ – Ladislav Naďo Oct 27 '14 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @LadislavNado The question is interesting but it indeed deserves some definitions to be correctly addressed. Would you consider multicellular organisms to be a society of cells? The concept of motility also needs a working definition. For example, sponges are motile in the sense that they have cells with flagellates (and they can follow a chemical gradient). Bacteria are motile as well. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 27 '14 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ Do you restrict your question to animals or do you welcome consideration from other clades? Note that plants produce GLV (Green leaf volatiles) to warn other plants from predators which really seems to be a cooperative action. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 27 '14 at 20:35

I'm going to hazard that primordial sociality by this definition and this question proceeded primordal motility in cells.

Algae started to form physically attached groups like these filaments, giving them some of the advantages of higher organization.

Filamentous Cyanobacteria

Its easy to see how this is a relatively simple adaptation - just have proteins or carbohydrates on the cell surface that stick together. This might also have evolved from large cells compartmentalizing since we're talking about very ancient stages of life on earth.


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