For wild turkeys, at least, helping your brother find a willing and eager mate is a better way to pass on your genes than chancing the mating game alone, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley, graduate student.
The American wild turkey is a textbook example of cooperative courtship, where subordinate male turkeys help dominant males attract a mate, even though they themselves do not get a chance to breed. When this cooperative courtship was first reported 34 years ago, the behavior was thought to make sense only if the males were related. But that kinship, and thus the entire hypothesis, could not be tested, and, in fact, the details of that study were never published. "This study not only shows that the males are related, but that the indirect gain in fitness through your relatives gain is equal to or greater than the expense of cooperating," said the studys author, Alan Krakauer. "This is one of the best demonstrations in vertebrates that the benefits of cooperating can outweigh the costs because of kinship alone."
Krakauer, a Ph.D. student in UC Berkeleys Department of Integrative Biology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, published his results in the March 3 issue of Nature. The cooperative courtship of brother turkeys is one case of the general evolutionary principle of kin selection, which posits that individuals may engage in altruism - behavior detrimental to their survival or reproduction - if the behavior increases the survival or reproductive output of their relatives. Such behavior can include caring for a relatives young or sending out alarm calls to warn nearby relatives at the peril of drawing the attention of a predator. "Although kin selection is widely invoked as an explanation for cooperation, obtaining the fitness data necessary to demonstrate kin selection can be really tough," said Eileen Lacey, UC Berkeley associate professor of integrative biology and one of Krakauers advisors. "Wild turkeys, in particular, have been purported to be an example of kin selection, and now Alan has tested this hypothesis and shown that they are. He is filling in an important missing piece of the puzzle."
Robert Sanders | EurekAlert!
'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy