13

This is not a direct answer to your question, but I want to point out that your basic premise is partially incorrect. Other felines also form social groups. For instance, male cheetahs form coalitions (also see Cheetah outreach at http://www.cheetah.co.za/c_info.html), often for life, which generally makes them more successful in defending territories. ...


9

There is one book that will perfectly suits your needs: A biologist's guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution, by Sally Otto It is a very good book that is very easy to understand and in the meantime goes pretty far (It ends with the use of diffusion equation in Evolutionary Biology). I highly recommend it. It covers: How to create a ...


9

Among the great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas live in very hierarchical, male-dominated clans that are often in violent conflict with other clans. Bonobos, on the other hand, lead very peaceful lives, and are female-dominated, using sexual contact as a manner of communication to reduce tension within and between groups. Orangutans are largely solitary ...


9

Queens do not generally breed with their brothers, but with males from other nests. In the life cycle of bees (and other social Hymenoptera), new queens are born late in the season along with haploid male drones. These all leave the nest and disperse in the landscape to find mates to reproduce with. After mating, all males die and the queens overwinter to ...


7

Socialization is a cognitive and executive brain based function that requires higher level thinking mechanisms usually dependent on the prefrontal coretex. A lot of social cues we obtain from our environment when we are young can shape our brains during its developmental growth (infancy-post puberty) and cause our brains to develop social habits and access ...


7

In eusocial insects, especially ants and bees, these groups are called "castes" (see e.g. Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990. This is the same term that is used for social stratifications in some human societies e.g. in India. One definition of caste is: ...the physical or the behavioural/physiological phenotype of a eusocial individual, or both. (from ...


6

Absolutely not. In many spiders and insects, the female holds the territory. Many spiders for instance have much larger females than males - in these species the female can be > 10x bigger than the male and the male may not even eat during its lifetime. Ordinary garden orb weaving spiders are this sort of animal. Only the females even spin webs. ...


6

It seems like your question might contain two separate and linked issues, both of which are perhaps equally confusing and equally interesting. They're both really discussion questions in a sense, but they've also both been dealt with in the literature in thoughtful ways, so here's a stab at an "answer". Issue One: how does your species concept deal with ...


6

First of all, there is a very heated debate about this in the field of social evolution at present, and you aren't likely to get a conclusive answer. One theorist may give you one answer, but another will vehemently disagree. I'll start by logically answering your questions in reverse order! Question 2: Can you please provide an intuitive explanation of why ...


5

After reading the article, the fuss is about this: In currently accepted theory Eusociality or "kin selection" explains altruistic behavior (the sacrifice of yourself or resources you control for the betterment of something else besides you) by relating the act to the amount of genetic information passed on. The relevant equation is Hamilton's rule:  ...


5

Intelligence is something which has to have a definition, and there are many, but I would cautiously say no. The reason that I say this is because swarming behavior can be largely reproduced by a simple set of rules - matching distance to your neighbors and direction and speed as well. To me this really removes any intention or even conscious element to ...


4

Group selection, in the extreme, yields eusociality due to the shared fate of the replicators in the group. In a multicellular sexual organism, this "shared fate" of the "group" is the shared prospect that all replicators (alleles) have for making it into the next generation via the meotic lottery that produces the gamete. Since they share this prospective ...


4

The quote refers to 'robber' bees, but in today's terminology, there are actually three separate phenomena. "Cheating" in bees and other social animals refers to the exploitation of a social contract for one's own benefit. Example: bee workers lay their own eggs rather than tending those of the queen. "Laziness" or "inactivity" of bee or other social insect ...


4

I couldn't find any information about ants starving in times of plenty, most likely since it's difficult to determine whether an ant colony is "letting" certain members starve or whether the ants have just died for whatever reason. To your second question, though, yes! This paper, The Effect of Colony Size and Starvation on Food Flow in the Fire Ant by ...


4

I believe it is a type of fission-fusion society or even some hybrid with agent based modeling. In ethology, a fission–fusion society is one in which the size and composition of the social group change as time passes and animals move throughout the environment; animals merge (fusion)—e.g. sleeping in one place—or split (fission)—e.g. foraging in small ...


4

The $sR$ that your looking at is the average relatedness of the next generation. This assumes that the new immigrants into the the population are completely unrelated. So if the population is completely viscous ($s=1$) the average relatedness of the next generation equals that of the current generation. On the other hand, if the population is not viscous ($...


4

Because mother invest the most material and time into producing the offspring, so there is a stronger pressure on them to not waste it. Males can go impregnate other females so there is a stronger possible disadvantage for child rearing, few mates thus fewer offspring. Whereas a female can't have more offspring by finding other males while currently carrying ...


4

Persecution is not a term often used in zoology, compared for example to the notion of social exclusion and hierarchy disputes/social animal hierarchy. That is because humans incarcerate animals which would otherwise flee to safe distance from the group if they are attacked. Wild Mammals, birds, fish, other animals with free movement can normally get safe ...


3

Are kin selection and group selection the same thing? Yes and no. Yes: These days people tend to use the "direct fitness approach" (Taylor and Frank JTB 1996). It turns out that this is based on EXACTLY the same equation as is contextual analysis, which is the currently favored approach for measuring multilevel selection in natural populations (...


3

I'm assuming you mean the distinct architecture and regular hexagonal shapes in bee honeycombs? In fact, Charles Darwin spent a good bit of time with honeycombs. First of all bees and wasps have a common progenitor and wasps also build combs and nests, albeit of paper/celluose as opposed to wax. He was interested in how the perfect hexagonal lattice ...


3

So what is the fuss about? The fuss isn’t so much about biology as it is about the circumstances of the argument. in particular, I gather that there are two complaints people have with E. O. Wilson’s (and his collaborators’) arguments: The Wilsonians pretend that kin selection (inclusive fitness) is just a quaint, outdated theory which is trivially ...


3

I don't have it with me, but the book Adventures among Ants by Mark Moffett, which I highly recommend if you're even vaguely interested in ants, describes the creation of paths such as this. Some ants apparently build underground "highways" of a sort, and such a sunken path is indeed an intermediate step in the construction of such. I can't remember the ...


3

It is just worded a little wierdly in my opinion. The key line in the paper is: 'Fitness components are also defined for all individuals, for example, $C$ is defined, even for a non-altruist, as the cost it would incur if were altruistic.' Essentially, if it doesn't matter what individual you are you always pay the same cost, then $C$ is a constant. This is ...


3

Calling is a risky activity because it makes the frog conspicuous to predators. When calling in a group, the risk to any given individual is minimized to the point that the minimal risk is outweighed by the advantage of attracting a mate. However, a single frog calling on his own is assuming all of the predation risk. So, the frogs are playing a bit of game ...


2

I hope I've interpreted your question properly... It's an interesting question, but I think it's important to remember that evolution doesn't act on the two sexes separately. Sterile males might evolve and be maintained simply because they're good for their sisters or mothers. Sometimes genes that are advantageous for one sex are linked with genes that are ...


2

The easiest way to understand this, in my opinion, is to think in social insects. In the ants, for example, there are polymorphisms, since the workers don't have the same phenotype as the queen or the soldiers. Also, one could argue that the whole colony is a massive metaorganism or superorganism, formed by the summation of all the individual ants. As in an ...


2

Both sexes of red squirrels defend exclusive year round territories. See Smith 1968 or Steele 1998.


2

Unfortunately, the answer depends completely on how stringent you are with "Hamilton's rule". If you just mean the equation $r \geq c/b$ then it is important to look at modern usages. In modern usage, all three of the terms $r$, $c$, and $b$ can be arbitrarily complicated. My favorite examples include when $r$ takes into account spatial structure saying that ...


2

All cases of same species grooming I know of involve animals with a certain amount of dexterity. For example (images from wikipedia): Macaw beaks:                              Primate fingers:     ...


2

Patas monkeys exhibit "sneak mating" where a male other than the resident male sires offspring. Resident males do sire more offspring than sneaker males, but both strategies do co-occur. I'm pretty sure there are other species that have a similar mating strategy as well.


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