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Research methods involve studying the behaviour of species in their natural habitats and complementary experimental studies conducted under controlled laboratory settings. Students are required to secure a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application for this program. Additional supervisors may be available. Skip to main content. Program Information General Information.

Evolution and Human Behavior

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2. Behavioral Evolution

Viewbook Graduate Undergraduate. Volume 40, Issue 4 pp.

How Does Social Behavior Evolve?

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A change in feeding behaviour

Guide for authors. About the journal. Search in this journal. Use advanced search. Articles in press Latest published Top cited Most popular Research article Abstract only Paternity confidence and social obligations explain men's allocations to romantic partners in an experimental giving game. Brooke A. Kathrine Starkweather.


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Discussion No access Frank Wesley Matthew Research article Abstract only The evolution of the endowment effect. Jaclyn Magginetti, Elizabeth G. Research article Open access Mapping human vigilance: The influence of conspecifics. In eusocial animals, the high productivity resulting from communal life and the efficient division of labor among workers takes place in an environment which is usually well defended against natural enemies Figure 4.

In nearly all eusocial species, colonies are protected through structural means such as termite nests in wood, or shrimp in marine sponges , with venom of wasps, bees, and ants , or by both means. Social and altruistic behaviors require a broad view of Darwinian fitness and an understanding that animals can perform behaviors that are responsive to short-term and long-term consequences for their fitness. By conducting research into how organisms interact with their environment and how the environment is predictive of their survival and reproductive success, researchers are able to explain how social behavior has evolved via the mechanism of natural selection.


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Hamilton, W. The genetical evolution of social behaviour. International Journal of Theoretical Biology 7 , Sherman, P. Nepotism and the evolution of alarm calls. Science , Wilkinson, G. Reciprocal food sharing in the vampire bat. Nature , The Diversity of Behavior. How Does Social Behavior Evolve? An Introduction to Animal Communication.

Home - Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL)

Animal Behavior Introduction. Mating Systems in Sexual Animals. Measuring Animal Preferences and Choice Behavior. Perceptual Worlds and Sensory Ecology. An Introduction to Eusociality. The Ecology of Avian Brood Parasitism. Social Parasitism in Ants. Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity Declines. Disease Ecology. Animal Migration. Sexual Selection. Territoriality and Aggression. The Development of Birdsong. Why do animals help others at the potential cost of their own survival and reproduction? Aa Aa Aa. Social Behavior is Adaptive.

Kin Selection. Vampire bats share food not only because of the anticipation of reciprocation. They are far more likely to share blood meals with their relatives. After taking into account the potential for reciprocity, vampire bats are more inclined to share their blood meals with kin than with unrelated individuals.

Using genetic analyses, researchers can calculate the relatedness among individuals. Bats that are more closely related are more likely to share resources.

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Why are relatives more likely to be the recipients of altruistic acts than non-relatives? Individuals are far more likely perform altruistic acts for siblings than for nephews, and even less likely for third cousins. The mechanism behind the effect of relatedness on altruism is kin selection. Just as the principle of natural selection predicts that an individual will act to maximize their own fitness, the principle of kin selection predicts that an individual will act altruistically to maximize the fitness of its relatives.

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