Questions tagged [sociality]

Communal living, cooperation in care of young, and/or division of labor within animal species.

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Will daily sweeped ants eventually learn their path is a dead-end?

An ant colony (likely Lasius niger) made its way through one of our rooms, literally. That is, they enter by a door and leave by the other, and vice versa. Some carry eggs, but in both ways, so I'm ...
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35 views

Is there animal other than human that can recognize distal causes?

We know animals can recognize proximate causes. For example, if animal A hits animal B and injures it then usually animal B is able to associate animal A with his injury. From our everyday experience ...
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65 views

Do primates have genetic predisposition to dominance hierarchies [closed]

I’m looking for some evidence to prove (or disprove) that primates are genetically predisposed to dominance hierarchies. I would appreciate any pointers/references to scientific literature. PS: The ...
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0answers
73 views

E.O. Wilson on sociobiology and the origin of morality

Somewhere in E.O Wilson's writing, he discusses how human values are rooted in our nature as a specific kind of animal. He argues that we have an identifiable optimal living place -- a grove at the ...
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31 views

Honeybee relatedness: workers and nephews

This is my first question on this site. If anyone could help me get to the bottom of it, I would be very grateful. I am currently working on a lecture on kinship in animals. It goes without saying, ...
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1answer
71 views

Factors That Would Promote Eusocial Development In Mammals?

What would cause mammals to evolve to be more eusocial, like the naked mole rat did? What advantages does eusociality give in such scenarios?
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42 views

How to quantify the strength of social bonding between the individuals of a colony? How to compare the strength of social bonding across the species?

Consider two different species of honey bees. If I have to compare the strength of social bonding between the two species i.e. in which species, social bonding between the individuals is stronger than ...
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1answer
33 views

When is an ant colony at its loudest?

I want to make a sound recording of an ant colony located in a wood pile in a German forest (I don’t know the exact species). To optimise this, I would like to select a time for this when the ant ...
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22 views

Research papers that demonstrate work done on other species with honey bee pheromones

I found research where Queen mandibular pheromones (QMP) emitted by queen bees were used to find their affects on Drosophila melanogaster. However, I am curious to see if the QMP from bees have been ...
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1answer
344 views

What do you call clearly different sub-groups within a species?

If you look at species of bees and ants, you can clearly see there are drastically different specialized ants, like queen ants and workers. They're both part of the same species, yet are still ...
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15 views

Does imprinting occur at different life stages?

For example, consider the offspring of a bird species. Can offspring get imprinted by other individuals of the same population at various life stages (e.g., hatchling, nestling, fledgeling, juvenile)? ...
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1answer
87 views

How to mark an ant with the least disturbance to the ant and the nest

How would one go about marking one or more ants in a nest so as to least disturb the ant and the nest? The goal is to be able to know which ant you marked months, or many years up to a lifespan later, ...
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1answer
200 views

How do polygyne Carebara affinis or C. diversus (a.k.a. Pheidologeton affinis and P. diversus) colonies work?

I live in Hong Kong. Typhoon Hato hit yesterday and a whole bunch of Carebara queens decided to take their nuptial flight. I caught close to 20 of them within 15 minutes. I'm pretty sure they are ...
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1answer
4k views

Do ants really find the shortest path to a food source?

There exist many computational intelligence algorithms based on the observation that ants deposit pheromones in such a way that they find the shortest path to food sources. This logic is used to ...
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2answers
3k views

Do ants really dispose of their own dead, and how/why?

I just read this from Wikipedia's Swarm Behavior article: Despite the lack of centralized decision making, ant colonies exhibit complex behaviour and have even been able to demonstrate the ability ...
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2answers
820 views

Are there any animals that celebrate communally?

Are there any animals that are known to celebrate events? For example, we humans might celebrate a birthday or passing an important test. An event causes us to perform some sort of celebration that is ...
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1answer
227 views

Why social animals attack odd members of their own group?

Some social animals are known for attacking odd members of their own group, for example, chicken: If you have a large group of one type of chicken, they will usually gang up on the one or two ...
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214 views

Why are some animals so much more intelligent than others? [closed]

From what I found many biologists state that animals living in large social groups (elephants, primates, cetaceans etc.) have a tendency for improved cognitive abilities. Yet at the same time there ...
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1answer
74 views

Male Parenting from Evolution point

From evolution point of view can we explain as to why mothers care about child rearing more than fathers? Is it Social phenomenon or genetic phenomenon? Are mothers hard wired to take care of children ...
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1answer
329 views

Cannibalizing behaviour in ants

Today I saw an ant question biology and was reminded of a picture I had clicked 2 years ago. Here, you can see these black guys cannibalizing this other black guy. To reiterate, these guys had ...
6
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1answer
141 views

How much do urban pigeons move around cities?

Do they tend to live their lives in one area of the city or do they move around? For example, do pigeons born on London's Trafalgar Square live their whole lives centered around Trafalgar Square or ...
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38 views

Are dominance hierarchies always maintained through violence?

Is there a species in which a dominance contest cannot escalate to a fight? I don't know of any but I'm not a biologist.
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1answer
39 views

A limit to birds affinity for high vantage points [closed]

Birds seem to have a natural affinity for high vantage points, including power wires, the tops of trees, and the sides and tops of buildings. However I presume the top of the Burj Khalifa is not ...
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1answer
262 views

Can brain damage caused by physical injury affect the social behaviour of a person?

Can a physical injury to the brain, resulting from an accident, and not the result of a diagnosed mental illness, affect a person's social behavior?
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2answers
4k views

Can animals like squirrels leave “gifts” or tribute for humans?

I've heard anecdotal reports of squirrels bringing up gifts to a person's house after that person left out food for them. Sounds bizzare and unbelievable, until I actually saw some kind of a nut right ...
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3answers
4k views

Why are lions the only social cats?

We know that almost all cats are solitary. How did the Lions (Panthera leo) end up social animals? Do we have an explanatory evolutionary path describing how the Lions became social while the rest of ...
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0answers
162 views

How to understand relatedness in an infinite island model?

My understanding is that the relatedness coefficient in kin selection models measures positive assortment. That is, altruism is more likely to evolve if altruists tend to interact with other altruists....
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1answer
81 views

Altruism in viscous (asexual) populations

The viscosity of a population is the tendency of offspring to remain near their place of birth. Taylor 1992 ("Altruism in viscous populations") provides a model to study how viscosity affects the ...
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1answer
110 views

Queller's 1985 version of Hamilton's rule

Queller 1985 ("Kinship, reciprocity and synergism in the evolution of social behavior") provides a generalization of Hamilton's rule that allows for non-additivity. To accomplish that, Queller writes ...
5
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1answer
111 views

How do bumblebees and hornets avoid the negative effects of inbreeding?

I just learned that all hornets and bumblebees except for the queen die at the end of the year and the queen starts a new nest in spring. But that means the next generation of queens have only ...
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1answer
306 views

Advantages of gregarious vs solitary behaviour?

I'm trying to explain why birds (specifically wildfowl) are gregarious during the winter and solitary during the summer. I think that in winter, birds are gregarious to reduce the risk of predation ...
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1answer
58 views

Which monkey species features two distinct male phenotypes?

I remember coming across a popular science article years ago about a monkey species which featured two male genotypes: the first were good looking males who acquired social status (as alphas or betas) ...
8
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1answer
241 views

Do ant colonies prioritize survival of particular members above others?

In some (perhaps small) human communities people may starve because they have no income. This could be interpreted as a consequence of them not participating in the community, hence they don't get any ...
8
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2answers
234 views

How to name such grouping behaviour?

Under which keyword would you try to find out more about the grouping behaviour which looks like this? Does anybody recognizes such behaviour, or know an animal species which uses it? My tries: ...
7
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1answer
289 views

When birds fly in V-formation, how is it decided which bird gets to be the 'lead bird'?

I've read on Wikipedia and in other sources that the lead position alternates due to flight fatigue, but does it alternate between a small cabal of of leadership birds, or does (almost) every bird get ...
5
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3answers
380 views

Why don't fish groom each other?

Fish are often plagued by external parasites, which are presumably difficult for them to remove. There are well known cases where large fish come to coral reefs and allow smaller fish to pick off ...
2
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1answer
93 views

Does sociality evolved before or after the ability of motility?

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 ...
5
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1answer
830 views

Is greed an evolved trait?

I am not a biologist, but I am fascinated by evolution. I was watching the news this morning and, as so often is the case, there was a news story about a corrupt politician who was accepting bribes....
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1answer
365 views

Start studying mathematical biology from basics

I am really passionate about theoretical and quantitative biology and I would like to build my future career around this topic. I've just got my bachelor's degree in biology (ecology) but scince I've ...
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3answers
219 views

Intuitive explanation for Kin- and Group- selection

It is known from theoretician in the field of kin selection that kin selection (inclusive fitness theory) and group selection are actually two sides of the same coin. In other words, these two ...
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2answers
174 views

Evolution of bee hives

How do the instinct to create a hive appeared in bees? Is there some evidence of "intermediate" hives? With this questions i mean all the factors necessary to build a hive, including the social ...
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2answers
4k views

Are humans an eusocial species?

In the evolution of sociality among animals, different degrees are acknowledged. Some species present overlapping generations, some division of labor, and the minority present reproductive division. ...
4
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2answers
106 views

Do swarms show intelligence?

Can you think of collective and swarm behaviors as "intelligence"? Would such a concept apply to a) ant colonies and b) fish swarms?
8
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1answer
186 views

Could murder be modeled as an infectious disease?

Background "When swine flu hit the population it spiked in certain areas and tapered off in neighboring regions, it hits hardest where people have least protection and this pattern is more ...
4
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1answer
293 views

Assumptions of Hamilton's rule

Which elements of the following list are assumptions of the Hamilton's rule? Population structure (non-panmictic population) Additivity = Fitness of the heterozygote equals the mean of the ...
2
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1answer
432 views

The concepts of relatedness - Hamilton's rule and kin selection

Here is a quotation from this wikipedia page The relatedness parameter (r) in Hamilton's rule was introduced in 1922 by Sewall Wright as a coefficient of relationship that gives the ...
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0answers
61 views

Honeybee decision process: new food, new home, new threat [closed]

I have heard that honeybees send out scouts, then based on the scout reports more bees go then come back and report and so they are supposed to be efficient decision makers. Can you give as complete ...
2
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1answer
241 views

Is there an instinct-driven body language for birds?

Over the last year or so, I've been observing house sparrows, because they are so prevalent in the northeast US cities. I noticed that a lot of sparrows, even in different cities seem to have very ...