Questions tagged [sociality]

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

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1answer
28 views

Frogs stop croaking at same time

I know frogs start croaking at the same time to attract a female. Why do they all stop at the same time?
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How to model social structure in SIR models

I refer to J.H. Jones' Notes on R0. More details in this question at Mathematics SE: How does the reproduction number depend on characteristics of the physical contact graph of a population? The ...
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Measuring the efficiency of different forms of Sociality in animals?

I was looking to the behaviour of hives and colonies and was wondering if there is a way to measure the efficiency of different forms of sociality in animal groups. This measurement should include how ...
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1answer
605 views

Why do ants dig surface paths?

A few days ago I observed a corridor built and used by ants that went over a path in fields: Why do they build it? It seems it doesn't bring any considerable protection from the surrounding ...
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The primary source for Erich von Holst research for minnow forebrain and shoaling

I am trying to find the primary source of information about the experiments of Eric von Holst, mentioned by Konrad Lorenz in the book “Das sogenannte Böse: Zur Naturgeschichte der Aggression”/“On ...
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1answer
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What's the technical terminology for call-and-respond type behaviour?

The groups of some species such as water birds display a behavior that once out of line-of-sight a member will periodically initiate an interaction by make some type of sound, which will be followed ...
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1answer
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Does Japan have an ageing population? [closed]

I often hear Japan has a declining/ageing population. It seems to be the prime example for this kind of thought. Yet after moving to Japan and after having been there for travel several times already. ...
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Why is there such a long interval between ages of sexual maturity and of reproduction in female chimpanzees?

There seems to be some disagreement on the ages at which female chimpanzees typically reach sexual maturity and when they typically first give birth, but regardless, different sources seem to agree ...
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1answer
48 views

How big can a colony/society get?

I hope this is the appropiate place for this question, asked from a math/physics perspective with little to no training in biology. Bacteria are very small and live in huge colonies, ants are bigger (...
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Can someone explain this phenomena?

So many parakeets sitting on a tree with no leaves ?
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308 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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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
123 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
379 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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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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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
379 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 ...
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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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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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Why do ants live so long?

I was surprised to learn that worker ants in some species live many years. I would have expected a lifespan of a few weeks or months (which is apparently the case for many species). What factors ...
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1answer
247 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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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 ...
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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
372 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 ...
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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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What mechanisms do animals living in groups (herds, packs, swarms) have against spreading contagious diseases?

While for example a wolf pack provides protection to a sick wolf, increasing its chance of survival, there is a risk of infecting other members of the pack, decreasing their total chance of survival. ...
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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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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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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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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
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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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272 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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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
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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
347 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
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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 ...
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1answer
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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
245 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 ...
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1answer
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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) ...
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1answer
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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....