FACTOID # 19: Cheap sloppy joes: Looking for reduced-price lunches for schoolchildren? Head for Oklahoma!
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Altruism in animals

Altruism is a well-documented animal behaviour, which appears most obviously in kin relationships but may also be evident amongst wider social groups. Image File history File links Merge-arrow. ... The evolutionary ethic holds that the ultimate goal of human life is to maximize total creativity. ... For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ... Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour (particularly of social animals such as primates and canids), and is a branch of zoology. ...

Contents

Overview

Altruism: kinship and reciprocity Kinship is the most basic principle of organizing individuals into social groups, roles, and categories. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

See also: Ethics and evolutionary psychology

Animals have been shown to have altruism towards each other[citation needed]. Research in evolutionary theory has been applied to social behaviour, including altruism. Some animal altruistic behaviour is explained by kin selection. Beyond the physical exertions that mothers, and in some species fathers, undertake to protect their young, extreme examples of sacrifice may occur. One example is matriphagy (the consumption of the mother by her offspring) in the spider Stegodyphus. Hamilton's rule describes the benefit of such altruism in terms of Wright's coefficient of relationship to the beneficiary and the benefit granted to the beneficiary minus the cost to the sacrificer. Should this sum be greater than zero a fitness gain will result from the sacrifice. Evolutionary psychology studies how our behavior evolved. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... Kin Selection is the phrase used to refer to changes in gene frequency driven by natural selection that can only be understood by looking at how biological relatives influence the fitness of each other. ... Sewall Green Wright ForMemRS (December 21, 1889 – March 3, 1988) was an American geneticist known for his influential work on evolutionary theory. ... In population genetics, Sewall Wrights coefficient of relationship or relatedness is the probability that at a random locus, the alleles there will be identical by descent. ...


When apparent altruism is not between kin, it may be based on reciprocity. A monkey will present its back to another monkey, who will pick out parasites; after a time the roles will be reversed. Such reciprocity will pay off, in evolutionary terms, as long as the costs of helping are less than the benefits of being helped and as long as animals will not gain in the long run by "cheating" - that is to say, by receiving favours without returning them. How this can be so is elaborated on in game theory and specifically the prisoner's dilemma as social theory. In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. ... This article contains mathematical terminology from game theory, which should not be confused with the common usage. ...


Examples of animal altruism

  • Dolphins support sick or injured animals, swimming under them for hours at a time and pushing them to the surface so they can breathe.[2]
  • Wolves and wild dogs bring meat back to members of the pack not present at the kill.[citation needed]
  • Male baboons threaten predators and cover the rear as the troop retreats.[citation needed]
  • Gibbons and chimpanzees with food will, in response to a gesture, share their food with others of the group.[citation needed]. Chimpanzees will help other humans and Conspecifics without any reward in return[3]
  • Bonobos have been observed aiding injured or handicapped bonobos.[4]
  • According to the research of Gerald Wilkinson, vampire bats have a "buddy system" in which a bat who has had a successful night of feeding will regurgitate blood for its less fortunate companion.[5]
  • In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives support in raising its young from other "helper" birds, including help with the feeding of its fledglings.[6] Some will even go as far as protecting an unrelated bird's young from predators [7]
  • Most mammal carnivores like wolves or dogs have a habit of not harming pack members below certain age, of opposite sex or in surrendering position (in case of some animals, the behavior exists within entire species rather than one pack).[citation needed]
  • Vervet Monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked.[citation needed]
  • Walruses have been seen adopting orphans who lost their parents to predators.[citation needed]

This article is about the domestic dog. ... Cats may refer to: Felines, members of the animal family Felidae The domesticated animal, cat The musical, yeah right, I bet that this was really dumb. ... Genera Several, see text Squirrel is the common name for rodents of the family Sciuridae. ... The word duck was also used as slang for the WWII amphibious vehicle called a DUKW. It is also a cricketing term denoting a batsman being dismissed with a score of zero; see golden duck. ... Binomial name Panthera tigris (Linnaeus, 1758) Tigers (Panthera tigris) are mammals of the Felidae family, one of four big cats that belong to the Panthera genus. ... For other uses, see Dolphin (disambiguation). ... Wolf Wolf Man Mount Wolf Wolf Prizes Wolf Spider Wolf 424 Wolf 359 Wolf Point Wolf-herring Frank Wolf Friedrich Wolf Friedrich August Wolf Hugo Wolf Johannes Wolf Julius Wolf Max Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf Maximilian Wolf Rudolf Wolf Thomas Wolf As Name Wolf Breidenbach Wolf Hirshorn Other The call... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... For other uses, see Baboon (disambiguation). ... Genera Hylobates Hoolock Nomascus Symphalangus Gibbons are the small apes that are grouped in the family Hylobatidae. ... Type species Simia troglodytes Blumenbach, 1775 distribution of Species Pan troglodytes Pan paniscus Chimpanzee, often shortened to chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of apes in the genus Pan. ... Conspecificity is a concept in biology. ... For other uses, see Bonobo (disambiguation). ... For the 1933 movie, see The Vampire Bat. ... The buddy system is a system in which two people, buddies, operate as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. ... Species Chlorocebus sabaceus Chlorocebus aethiops Chlorocebus djamdjamensis Chlorocebus tantalus Chlorocebus pygerythrus Chlorocebus cynosuros The vervet monkeys or green monkeys are primates from the family of Old World monkeys. ... For other uses, see Walrus (disambiguation). ...

Implications in evolutionary theory

In the science of ethology (the study of behavior), and more generally in the study of social evolution, altruism refers to behavior by an individual that increases the fitness of another individual while decreasing the fitness of the actor.[citation needed] Researchers on alleged altruist behaviours among animals have been ideologically opposed to the social darwinist concept of the "survival of the fittest", under the name of "survival of the nicest" — the latter being globally compatible, however, with darwinist' theory of evolution. Insistence on such cooperative behaviours between animals was first exposed by the Russian zoologist and anarchist Peter Kropotkin in his 1902 book, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwins theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i. ... For other uses, see Survival of the fittest (disambiguation). ... Charles Darwin Darwinism is a term for the underlying theory in those ideas of Charles Darwin concerning evolution and natural selection. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... Prince Peter (Pyotr) Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: ) (December 9, 1842–February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society free from central government. ...


Recent developments in game theory (look into ultimatum game) have provided some explanations for apparent altruism, as have traditional evolutionary analyses. Among the proposed mechanisms are: Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. ... The Ultimatum game is an experimental economics game in which two parties interact anonymously and only once, so reciprocation is not an issue. ...

The study of altruism was the initial impetus behind George R. Price's development of the Price equation which is a mathematical equation used to study genetic evolution. An interesting example of altruism is found in the cellular slime moulds, such as Dictyostelium mucoroides. These protists live as individual amoebae until starved, at which point they aggregate and form a multicellular fruiting body in which some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells in the fruiting body. Social behavior and altruism share many similarities to the interactions between the many parts (cells, genes) of an organism, but are distinguished by the ability of each individual to reproduce indefinitely without an absolute requirement for its neighbors. A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of it. ... Many models of human behavior in the social sciences assume that humans can be reasonably approximated or described as rational entities, especially as conceived by rational choice theory. ... Herbert Alexander Simon (June 15, 1916 – February 9, 2001) was an American political scientist whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, computer science, public administration, economics, management, and philosophy of science and a professor, most notably, at Carnegie Mellon University. ... François Chifflart (1825-1901), The Conscience (after Victor Hugo) Conscience is an ability or faculty or sense that leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, or which informs our moral judgment before performing such an action. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... Meat Eater ant colony swarming Fire ants Eusociality is the phenomenon of reproductive specialization found in some animals. ... The Selfish Gene is a controversial book by Richard Dawkins published in 1976. ... For other uses, see Meme (disambiguation). ... In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ... The handicap principle is an idea proposed by the Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi. ... In social psychology, reciprocity refers to in-kind positive or negative responses of individuals towards the actions of others. ... For other uses, see Reputation (disambiguation). ... George R. Price (1922 - January 6, 1975) was a American population geneticist. ... The Price equation (also known as Prices equation) is a covariance equation which is a mathematical description of evolution and natural selection. ... Typical orders Protostelia Protosteliida Myxogastria Liceida Echinosteliida Trichiida Stemonitida Physarida Dictyostelia Dictyosteliida Slime (or slime mold) is a broad term often referring to roughly six groups of Eukaryotes. ... Families & Genera Dictyosteliidae     Dictyostelium     Polysphondylium     Coenonia Actyosteliidae     Acytostelium The dictyostelids are a group of cellular slime moulds. ... Amoeba (Chaos diffluens) Foraminiferan shells Heliozoan (Actinophrys sol) Amoeboids are cells that move or feed by means of temporary projections, called pseudopods (false feet). ...


Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman, neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health and LABS-D'Or Hospital Network (J.M.) provided the first evidence for the neural bases of altruistic giving in normal healthy volunteers, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in October, 2006,[9] they showed that both pure monetary rewards and charitable donations activated the mesolimbic reward pathway, a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food and sex. However, when volunteers generously placed their interests of others before their own by making charitable donations, another brain circuit was selectively activated: the subgenual cortex/septal region. These structures are intimately related to social attachment and bonding in other species. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.[10] National Institutes of Health Building 50 at NIH Clinical Center - Building 10 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency of the United States Ministry of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. ... Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is the use of MRI to measure the haemodynamic response related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. ... The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, usually referred to as PNAS, is the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences. ... The mesolimbic pathway is one of the neural pathways in the brain that link the ventral tegmentum in the midbrain to the nucleus accumbens in the limbic system. ...


A new study by Samuel Bowles at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, US, is seen by some as breathing new life into the model of group selection for Altruism, known as "Survival of the nicest". Bowles conducted a genetic analysis of contemporary foraging groups, including Australian aboriginals, native Siberian Inuit populations and indigenous tribal groups in Africa. It was found that hunter-gatherer bands of up to 30 individuals were considerably more closely related than was previously thought. Under these conditions, thought to be similar to those of the middle and upper Paleolithic, altruism towards other group-members would improve the overall fitness of the group. Samuel Bowles is an American economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught courses on microeconomics and the theory of institutions. ... The Santa Fe Institute (or SFI) is a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study of complex systems in Santa Fe, New Mexico founded by George Cowan, David Pines, Stirling Colgate, Murray Gell-Mann, Nick Metropolis, Herb Anderson, Peter A. Carruthers, and Richard Slansky in 1984 to study complex... Official language(s) None Spoken language(s) English 68. ... In evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the fitness of individuals within that group. ... Aboriginal Flag Indigenous Australians are the people who lived in the Australia and its nearby islands before the arrival of European settlers in 1788, and who continue to live there as minority peoples. ... Siberian federal subjects of Russia Siberia (Russian: Сиби́рь, common English transliterations: Sibir, Sibir; possibly from the Mongolian for the calm land) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting all of northern Asia. ... For other uses, see Inuit (disambiguation). ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ...


If an individual defended the group but was killed, any genes that the individual shared with the overall group would still be passed on. Early customs such as food sharing or monogamy could have levelled out the “cost” of altruistic behaviour, in the same way that income taxes redistribute income in society. He assembled genetic, climactic, archaeological, ethnographic and experimental data to examine the cost-benefit relationship of human cooperation in ancient populations. In his model, members of a group bearing genes for altruistic behaviour pay a "tax" by limiting their reproductive opportunities to benefit from sharing food and information, thereby increasing the average fitness of the group as well as their inter-relatedness. Bands of altruistic humans would then act together to gain resources from other groups at this challenging time in history.[11]. Faithfulness redirects here. ...


Altruist theories in evolutionary biology were contested by Amotz Zahavi, the inventor of the signal theory and its correlative, the handicap principle, based mainly on his observations of the Arabian Babbler, a bird commonly known for its surprising (alleged) altruistic behaviours. Amotz Zahavi is an Israeli Evolutionary Biologist from Tel-Aviv University, and one of the founders of the Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature. ... The handicap principle is an idea proposed by the Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi. ... Binomial name (Cretzschmar, 1827) The Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps) is a passerine bird belonging to the genus Turdoides, a genus of Old World babblers. ...


See also

For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ... A man holds a monkey with a limb missing by a rope around her neck, a scene epitomizing the idea of animal ownership. ... Binomial name (Cretzschmar, 1827) The Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps) is a passerine bird belonging to the genus Turdoides, a genus of Old World babblers. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... In game theory, an evolutionarily stable strategy (or ESS; also evolutionary stable strategy) is a strategy which if adopted by a population cannot be invaded by any competing alternative strategy. ... Evolutionary game theory (EGT) is the application of population genetics-inspired models of change in gene frequency in populations to game theory. ... The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. ... For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ... This article contains mathematical terminology from game theory, which should not be confused with the common usage. ... In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The Selfish Gene is a book on evolution by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. ... Title page of the first edition of Charles Darwins The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. ...

References

  1. ^ Mutt-ernal Instincts - Dachshund adopts kitties, Pitbull adopts kitties, Border Collie adopts... tigers? - 2006-09-29
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_%28season_6%29#Supersize_Shark
  3. ^ Human-like Altruism Shown In Chimpanzees
  4. ^ October 7, 2005, Hour Two:
  5. ^ de Waal, Frans (1996). Good Natured. Harvard University Press, 20–21. ISBN 0-674-35660-8. 
  6. ^ Birds' Cooperative Breeding Sheds Light on Altruism - washingtonpost.com
  7. ^ Avian altruism: African birds sacrifice self-interest to help their kin - white-fronted bee eaters | Science News | Find Articles at BNET.com
  8. ^ Herbert Gintis (September 2000). "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality". Journal of Theoretical Biology 206 (2): 169–179. doi:10.1006/jtbi.2000.2111. 
  9. ^ Human fronto–mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation, PNAS 2006:103(42);15623-15628)
  10. ^ "If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Be Only Natural", Washington Post, May 2007. 
  11. ^ Fisher, Richard (07 December 2006) "Why altruism paid off for our ancestors" (NewScientist.com news service) [1]

Frans B.M. de Waal, PhD (b. ... The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... The Journal of Theoretical Biology is a scientific journal dealing with all mathematical and computational aspects of biology. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Altruism in animals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (507 words)
Altruism is a well-documented animal behaviour, which appears most obviously in kin relationships but may also be evident amongst wider social groups.
Hamilton's rule describes the benefit of such altruism in terms of Wright's coefficient of relationship to the beneficiary and the benefit granted to the beneficiary minus the cost to the sacrificer.
When apparent altruism is not between kin, it may be based on reciprocity.
Altruism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2500 words)
Nietzsche asserts that altruism is predicated on the assumption that others are more important than one's self and that such a position is degrading and demeaning.
In common parlance, altruism usually means helping another person without expecting material reward from that or other persons, although it may well entail the "internal" benefit of a "good feeling," sense of satisfaction, self-esteem, fulfillment of duty (whether imposed by a religion or ideology or simply one's conscience), or the like.
Altruism was central to the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m