March 4, 2005

A Literal "Wing Man"

Here's a new study upholding the late William D. Hamilton's theory of kin selection and nepotistic altruism. From UC Berkeley News:

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...

"This study not only shows that the males are related, but that the indirect gain in fitness through your relative's gain is equal to or greater than the expense of cooperating," said the study's 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."

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