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Contrasts in kinship structure in mammalian societies

Dyble, M; Clutton-Brock, TH; (2020) Contrasts in kinship structure in mammalian societies. Behavioral Ecology , 31 (4) pp. 971-977. 10.1093/beheco/araa043. Green open access

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Abstract

Comparative studies of mammals confirm Hamilton’s prediction that differences in cooperative and competitive behavior across species will be related to contrasts in kinship between group members. Although theoretical models have explored the factors affecting kinship within social groups, few have analyzed the causes of contrasts in kinship among related species. Here, we describe interspecific differences in average kinship between group members among social mammals and show that a simple mathematical model that includes the number of breeding females, male reproductive skew, and litter size successfully predicts ~95% of observed variation in average kinship between group members across a sample of mammals. Our model shows that a wide range of conditions can generate groups with low average relatedness but only a small and rather specific set of conditions are likely to generate high average levels of relatedness between their members, providing insight into the relative rarity of advanced forms of cooperation in mammalian societies.

Type: Article
Title: Contrasts in kinship structure in mammalian societies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/araa043
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/araa043
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123739
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