Navigation Links
The higher the hierarchy, the greater the aggression

Individual variation in social behavior is one of the most striking features of cooperative animal societies. In a new study from the June issue of American Naturalist, Michael A. Cant (University of Cambridge), Justine B. Llop (University of Cambridge), and Jeremy Field (University College London) investigate the extent to which differences in aggressive behavior within a cooperative society can be explained by "inheritance rank"--the likelihood that an individual will get to mate successfully in that society based on their rank--or place in the social hierarchy. They can only pass on their genes when they reach the top of the hierarchy, usually after those ahead of them in the rank have died and they have inherited the right to reproduce.

"Certain group members inflict or receive many more acts of aggression than others. In some cases, these acts (which include bites, shoves, mounts, and charges) appear to regulate cooperative activity in the group by activating lazy workers, for example, or punishing defectors," write the researchers.

The researchers developed two simple mathematical models that predicted that, if inheritance rank mattered in a cooperative society, then the rates of aggression would be highest toward the front of the queue and that the aggression would increase as the time available to inherit the ability to breed ran out in seasonal animals. These predictions were tested on field colonies of the paper wasp Polistes dominulus by recording aggression between all group members and then repeatedly removing the dominant wasps.

When individuals were experimentally promoted in rank, their aggression toward subordinates increased radically, suggesting that aggression depends on rank rather than vice versa and that particularly high levels of aggression are used by newly promoted dominants to establish their status. "We found that rates of both aggressive 'displays' (aimed at individuals of lower rank) and aggressive 'tests' (ai med at individuals of higher rank) decreased down the hierarchy, as predicted by our models," write the authors. Cant et al. conclude that variation in future fitness due to inheritance rank is the hidden factor accounting for much of the variation in aggression among apparently equivalent individuals.


Source:University of Chicago Press Journals

Related biology news :

1. Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction
2. Pregnant women at higher risk for HIV, Uganda study finds
3. GM crop that holds on to its seeds offers higher yields
4. Navigating the brain for sense of direction as paradigm for higher cognitive functions
5. Virginia Tech helping to develop higher quality, disease-resistant wheat varieties
6. Avian flu transmission to humans may be higher than thought
7. Chromosomal abnormalities in sperm higher after vasectomy reversal
8. Metal homeostasis research in plants will lead to nutrient-rich food and higher yielding crops
9. Indicators for risk of heart disease are higher in passive smokers
10. Greasing interferons gears may pave way to greater therapeutic benefits, fewer side effects
11. Forsyth scientists gain greater understanding of how embryos differentiate left from right
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today ... its Board of Directors. --> ... recently retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one ... with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and ... all the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... LONDON , Nov. 11, 2015   ... and reliable analytical tools has been paving the ... and qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, ... sensors are being predominantly used in medical applications, ... and environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into ... of vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer ... drivers, and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive ... the vehicle. Europe , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to ... researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product ... (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach ... in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive ... CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and ... testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In harsh industrial processes, the safety of ... can represent a weak spot where leaking process media is a possible hazard. ... , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. They combine rugged design ...
Breaking Biology Technology: