Category Archives: Eusociality

Eusociality

Eusociality, the highest level of organization of animal sociality, is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care (including brood care of offspring from other individuals), overlapping generations within a colony of adults, and a division of labour into reproductive … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Extreme Altruism and Inequality in Insect Societies

In eusocial organisms, some individuals specialize in reproduction and others in altruistic helping. The evolution of eusociality is, therefore, also the evolution of remarkable inequality. For example, a colony of honeybees (Apis mellifera) may contain 50 000 females all of … Continue reading

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Evolution “for the Good of the Group”

Is evolution a team sport, or is the contest for survival played out strictly between individuals? There’s no question that natural selection acts on individual organisms: Those with favorable traits are more  likely to pass along their genes to the … Continue reading

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One giant leap: How Insects achieved Altruism and Colonial Life

The advanced colonial state of eusociality has evolved in insects as a defense of nest sites within foraging distance of persistent food sources. In the Hymenoptera, the final step in the approach to eusociality is through a suite of preadaptations … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Eusociality

Eusociality, in which some individuals reduce their own lifetime reproductive potential to raise the offspring of others, underlies the most advanced forms of social organization and the ecologically dominant role of social insects and humans. For the past four decades … Continue reading

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