Some notes and speculations about various topics. ||| Gegenwärtig - vorübergehend -
wohl eher eine Gedankensammlung als ein Naturwissenschaftsblog. Das Konzept eines "Naturwissenschaftsblogs" wird erst im kommenden Jahr (2018/2019) Umsetzung finden.
Sonntag, 30. November 2014
Cooperative breeding and monogamy in mammalian societies
Comparative studies of social insects and birds show that the evolution of cooperative and eusocial breeding systems has been confined to species where females mate completely or almost exclusively with a single male, indicating that high levels of average kinship between group members are necessary for the evolution of reproductive altruism. In this paper, we show that in mammals, the evolution of cooperative breeding has been restricted to socially monogamous species which currently represent 5 per cent of all mammalian species. Since extra-pair paternity is relatively uncommon in socially monogamous and cooperatively breeding mammals, our analyses support the suggestion that high levels of average kinship between group members have played an important role in the evolution of cooperative breeding in non-human mammals, as well as in birds and insects.