KIN SELECTION & SYNCHRONISED REPRODUCTION
=Co-operative Behaviours= Co-operative behaviours are an evolutionary response to reduce the competition between members of the same species (ultimately making them more competitive against other species) The only disadvantage of co-operative behaviours is that they require organisms to live in closer proximity to one-another. This potentially increases the chance for conflict to occur. Thus social structures such as dominance hierarchies, are required to reduce fighting and ensure the stability of the group. Co-operative or group behaviours also increase the potential for parasites and pathogens (disease) to spread. However, the benefit from working co-operatively clearly outweighs the costs. ==Examples of Co-operative Behaviours== [image:http://i.imgur.com/41lwIPM.png?1] '''Safety in numbers:''' Buffalo and other such animals group together (herd). This makes it more difficult for predators to attack a single buffalo (a confusion tactic). Animals often form defensive circles, all facing outwards so that that their rears are not exposed and their young (in the centre) are protected. [image:http://i.imgur.com/bpdMajQ.gif] '''Pack Hunting''' Animals often hunt in packs so that they can kill larger animals. They then share the kill (alpha male will eat first but always leaves some for even the least dominant). Hunting together also allows the group to circle larger animals and attack from behind or to separate younger, older or weaker individuals from a herd. This reduces the chance of injury and enables to pack to kill larger animals that no single individual normally could on their own. The image (left) shows a pack of wolves hunting a young buffalo. [image:http://i.imgur.com/NOF01rM.png?1] '''Protection:''' Dolphins will protect mothers during the birthing process. They also help the new born to surface (learn to breathe). This helps to ensure the survival of all young dolphins and thus the species as a whole. [image:http://i.imgur.com/WEiMXoi.png?1] '''Division of Labour / Specialisation''' Social insects such as ants have complex social structures / Colonies with only one reproducing female (Queen) who co-ordinate the whole group with pheromones (chemical signals). All the other female ants are infertile and join the other ants as workers. Working co-operatively allows ants to have specialised roles, such as maintaining the nest, gathering food, etc. [image:http://i.imgur.com/5r6spiu.png?1] '''Modification of Environment:''' Groups can modify their environment to the advantage of the whole species. For instance ants, termites and bees produce nests / hives that are quite amazing works. This modification to their environment would not be possible without co-ordinated co-operative behaviour. [image:http://i.imgur.com/lp8Mqpt.jpg?1] '''Clumping:''' Woodlice often clump together to conserve moisture. Penguins form dense colonies to conserve heat. Individuals will take turns being on the outside where it is coldest.
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