Questions tagged [sociality]

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

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Why do (some?) flies aggregate on both sides of a window even when there is no passage between the two sides?

I've observed an interesting behavior in flies that often invade old houses. When flies accumulate on the inside of a window, I've noticed that other flies start to accumulate on the outside of the ...
Adrian Maire's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is the function of smelly sweat in primates?

I remember one, sweltering day in Malaysia, I was climbing the very long staircase to a Buddha statue in a cave, when I suddenly felt enveloped in an overpowering smell of sweat. My first thought was ...
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An interesting paper on hunter-gatherer social dynamics and cooperation

I've read a paper long ago on the cooperativeness in the hunter-gatherer primitive societies. Their conclusion is that for hunters, cooperation dominates competition; for gatherers, competition ...
dodo's user avatar
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How selective are wolves about the size of their prey?

For an animal that lives and hunts socially like a wolf, is there a lower threshold to the size of prey items they will hunt? A pack wouldn't have much trouble with catching say a rabbit, but would ...
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Should I scare the swan to help him survive?

There's a young swan in my local park. He is young and I don't see his parents around. The young swan isn't affraid of humans and one can easily feed him from one's hand, and even pet on his head. But ...
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Do microorganisms have complex social behaviors like dominance hierarchies, just as "higher animals" do?

I used to believe that dominance hierarchy (a.k.a. pecking order) exists in higher order animals and is associated with complex social behavior. See the wikipedia definition of dominance hierarchy and ...
High GPA's user avatar
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What are the definition of pecking order? [closed]

Pecking order is the phenomenon that dominating individual usually eat first. It is commonly observed in animals. In animals, it is often due to the fact that the strong individual won the fights for ...
High GPA's user avatar
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The evolutionary advantage of sending the most fearless to the front

Let species A be prey to another species B. Assume that predators B only attack isolated individuals A (because they are afraid of larger groups of A's). So it is good for species A to be on the way ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
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Examples of physiological differences between isolated & non-isolated individuals

I'm looking for examples of organisms (or biological units at some other scale, like cells) whose physical and/or behavioral properties develop differently depending on whether the individual is in ...
Karl's user avatar
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What determines whether a trait brought out through sexual selection is transmitted only to offspring of the same sex or of both sexes?

First of all, let me apologize for my amateurishness. I have no background in biology. Please bear with me. My question relates to sexual selection, or specifically its most prominent manifestations: ...
user3724492's user avatar
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Do animals lie?

Have there been any studies that show or suggest that species known to be able to communicate information between individuals ever intentionally communicate false information i.e. lie? (Apart from ...
Greendrake's user avatar
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Would it be possible to create logical circuits out of insects?

Could one organise ants, bees or any insects to do addition using logical gates: AND, OR, NOT, XOR. As inputs/signals one could imagine for example that 1 would be food and 0 would be no food.
AteszDude's user avatar
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Are there any eusocial swarms which act prosocially?

My layman’s observations of eusocial colonies (like ants) is that while individual ants are extremely cooperative, different swarms in aggregate tend to act aggressively towards other swarms. Are ...
Breaking Bioinformatics's user avatar
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Are there mammalian species in which the male makes no contribution after coitus?

It seems that live bearing is very high cost relative to egg laying. Therefore, I would expect that in a live bearing species the male would always have a post coital role. Is this the case?
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Do crabs actually "rip the legs off of other crabs" if they try to escape a bucket?

I read this strange remark: Picture a bucket full of crabs with no lid. The moment a crab tries to get out, the other crabs will literally rip its legs off. It was said as something that is common ...
Sebastian the Crab's user avatar
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What is the term for the physical and behavioral changes that occur in an adult species due to the change in their hierarchy?

For example, when a chicken becomes a rooster its crest becomes larger and their feathers become more colorful. Dominant male lions get larger and darker manes. Also, can these changes also occur ...
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Did mammals evolve from something with eusociality?

Eusociality (from Greek εὖ eu "good" and social), the highest level of organization of sociality, is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care (including care of ...
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Is there any non-human animal social group that punishes members with "imprisonment" or a similar method?

I was reading this blog on Scientific American, which discusses whether wild animals are happier than domesticated ones. I've also read about strong territorial instincts in some species. This reading ...
Whirl Mind's user avatar
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Do bees from different continents have different "taste"?

This question was already asked by me at Gardening Stack Exchange, but I was advised to ask it here instead. I see there is already a closely related question: Do animals have different taste ...
Aleksandar M's user avatar
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Can ants distinguish individual ants in the colony?

I am aware that ants have the ability to distinguish which female is the queen and which ones aren't. However, can ants also uniquely distinguish other individual ants in the colony? Is the ...
user0193's user avatar
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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 ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
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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 ...
alpo's user avatar
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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 ...
norlesh's user avatar
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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. ...
steros's user avatar
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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 ...
Michael MacAskill's user avatar
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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 (...
augustoperez's user avatar
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Can someone explain this phenomena?

So many parakeets sitting on a tree with no leaves ?
Shubhanshu Pandey's user avatar
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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 ...
Skippy le Grand Gourou's user avatar
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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 ...
Ahmed Abdullah's user avatar
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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 ...
UnrealVillager's user avatar
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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 ...
andrewH's user avatar
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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, ...
RedPanda's user avatar
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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?
The Literary Lord's user avatar
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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 ...
VRD's user avatar
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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 ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
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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 ...
The Last Word's user avatar
4 votes
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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 ...
John Joe's user avatar
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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)? ...
VRD's user avatar
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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, ...
O0123's user avatar
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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 ...
Kal's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Bryant Makes Programs's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
414 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 ...
catemperor's user avatar
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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 ...
Koen vd H's user avatar
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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 ...
murmansk's user avatar
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2 votes
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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.
Randy Randerson's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
327 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?
Snazzy Sanoj's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
10k 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 ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
mousomer's user avatar
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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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