Dugatkin_2002 - Naturwissenschaften(2002 89:533541 DOI...

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Naturwissenschaften (2002) 89:533–541 DOI 10.1007/s00114-002-0379-y REVIEW ARTICLE Lee Alan Dugatkin Animal cooperation among unrelated individuals Published online: 29 November 2002 # Springer-Verlag 2002 Abstract The evolution of cooperation has long been a topic near and dear to the hearts of behavioral and evolutionary ecologists. Cooperative behaviors run the gamut from fairly simple to very complicated and there are a myriad of ways to study cooperation. Here I shall focus on three paths that have been delineated in the study of intraspecific cooperation among unrelated individuals: reciprocity, byproduct mutualism, and group selection. In each case, I attempt to delineate the theory underlying each of these paths and then provide examples from the empirical literature. In addition, I shall briefly touch upon some recent work that has attempted to examine (or re- examine) the role of cognition and phylogeny in the study of cooperative behavior. While empirical and theoretical work has made significant strides in the name of better understanding the evolution and maintenance of cooper- ative behavior in animals, much work remains for the future. From the point of view of the moralist, the animal world is on about the same level as the gladiator’s show. The creatures are fairly well treated, and set to fight; whereby the strongest, the swiftest and the cunningest live to fight another day. The spectator has no need to turn his thumb down, as no quarter is given … the weakest and the stupidest went to the wall, while the toughest and the shrewdest, those who were best fitted to cope with their circumstances, but not the best in any other way, survived. Life was a continuous free fight, and … a war of each against all was the normal state of existence. (Huxley 1888) Introduction To read the opening quote from Thomas Henry Huxley literally would be to present a warped view of animal societies. Huxley, brilliant though he was, simply under- estimated the role of cooperation in animal behavior. No doubt the “gladiator show” aspects that Huxley refers to occur in nature, but cooperation, too, is a common occurrence. The literature on intra- and interspecific cooperation in animals is large (Dugatkin 1997) and would be impossible to review in detail here. In particular, the literature on both kin-selected cooperation (Hamilton 1964) and inter- specific cooperation (or mutualism) has been reviewed amply and numerous times in other places (see Closing thoughts section) and so here I focus on intraspecific cooperation among unrelated individuals. This is not meant to underplay the significance of either kin-selected or intraspecific cooperation. In fact, most behavioral ecologists would agree that many of the instances of cooperation that occur in nature are, in one way or another, linked to kinship. Such cooperation is well understood, both from a theoretical and empirical stand- point, and so I have opted here to address cooperation among unrelated individuals, an issue that is more of a sticking point than kin-based prosocial behavior. More
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2009 for the course BIO 182 taught by Professor Chaux during the Spring '08 term at Arizona.

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Dugatkin_2002 - Naturwissenschaften(2002 89:533541 DOI...

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