Reciprocal food-sharing is more prevalent in stable hunter-gatherer camps, shows new UCL research that sheds light on the evolutionary roots of human cooperation. The research explores patterns of food-sharing among the Agta, a population of Filipino hunter-gatherers. It finds that reciprocal food-sharing is more prevalent in stable camps (with fewer changes in membership over time); while in less stable camps individuals acquire resources by taking from others – known as ‘demand sharing’. Exploring social dynamics in the last remaining groups of present day hunter-gatherers is essential for understanding the factors that shaped the evolution of our widespread cooperation, especially with non-kin.
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