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BIOL 208 (January 27, 2014) - Altruism and Conservation

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Biology (Biological Sciences)
James Cahill

BIOL 208 (January 27, 2014) • Altruism o Ex. red squirrels adopting baby squirrel of another organism  Individual donating food at their own cost while the adopted squirrel gets fed o Ex. Host bird may not be able to discern the difference between own offspring and another organisms of a totally different species.  Parasitic baby bird then kicks out other real offspring of the parent out of the nest o Voluntary and Involuntary (mom doesn’t know) o Ex. Baboons  Bonded male will fight off other males • If 2 unbonded males show up, one will fight the bonded male and the other will have sex with the female. o Unbonded and fighting male is altruistic. Getting harmed for the benefit of the other unbounded male. o This is reciprocal altruism (take turns)  Must be able to recognize individuals and have a memory of what they did before. (No need for trust… but is based on actions of other individuals. If the baboon bails out after having sex with the female, then the cheated baboon will just not help him ever again.) o Why does it persist?  Should not be favoured due to natural selection  Doing it for the good of the species (group selection)? NOPE • Things don’t act for the good of the species • Acting against individuals own fitness levels does not compliment animal nature o Altruism
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