Juveniles pay a lot of attention to their mothers new

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juveniles pay a lot of attention to their mothers' new infants - the infants get to know the mother and their siblings, who are around the most - this takes time and effort, so it must serve a function - presumably to direct altruistic behavior towards the closest relatives - most observed altruistic behavior does happen between close relatives - food sharing is altruistic - it costs the giver some of the food - and benefits the recipient - and the vast bulk of the incidents of food sharing is between kin related through the mother - primarily mothers and offspring - grooming is altruistic - it is more common among kin than non-kin - especially mothers and offspring - coalitions are altruistic - one individual backing up another in a conflict
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Intro to Biological Anthro F 2011 / Owen: Altruism and kin selection p. 7 - may be dangerous for the one providing support - most often formed by close kin - especially common between mothers and offspring - but also among siblings, half-siblings, grandparents-grandchildren - in many species with female dominance hierarchies, the mother supports her female offspring in dominance disputes - as in figure 7.14 in the textbook with a juvenile and an older female baboon facing off against another female - this generally gives the female offspring the position just below the mother in the dominance hierarchy - this makes the female dominance hierarchies extremely stable, generation after generation - all the descendents of one mother will rank above all the descendents of a lower-ranked mother - this is altruism on the mother's part, since it carries some risks - since it benefits her own offspring, so it makes good sense in terms of kin selection - all of parental investment is really just a special case of kin selection, where the altruist is the parent and the recipient is the offspring - male cooperation in red howler monkey - in these small multi-female, multi-male groups, only the highest-ranking male fathers all the offspring - yet all the resident males work together to drive off invading bachelor males - this can incur severe costs to the defending males, including those who are not mating themselves - why help drive off bachelor males, then? - apparently because the cooperating males are often related - keeping away the unrelated bachelor males increases their inclusive fitness, through the offspring of a related male - evidence: coalitions of related males last almost four times as long as coalitions of unrelated males - There is another, completely different mechanism that might select for altruistic behavior: reciprocal altruism - Reciprocal altruism : altruistic behavior that is selected for because the altruist is consistently repaid more than the cost of the action - this is easier than it sounds, since the cost of performing a service like grooming is low; probably less than the benefit of receiving it - so if a recipient of grooming reciprocates with a grooming session for the actor, that more than compensates the altruistic actor for the cost of giving the grooming in the first place -
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  • Fall '11
  • Owen
  • Biological Anthropology, Kin selection, Inclusive fitness, reproductive success, Bruce Owen, kin selection p.

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