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Familial selection and the evolution of social behavior

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This paper considers a few frequency models, in the deterministic, nonoverlapping generations case, for traits affecting familial behavior. It is assumed that a Mendelian mutant decreases the drive of offspring of either or both sexes to seek reproduction, so that they will be of more help in raising their sibs. The diploid mode of inheritance has been considered in the case of sex limited expression and equal selective effect in both sexes. In the haplodiploid case only expression limited to either sex is worked out. A selectionist interpretation in terms of different modes of inheritance had been proposed mainly by Hamilton, at a semi-quantitative level, to explain the higher incidence of social behavior in hymenopterans.

There is only some limited qualitative agreement between Hamilton’s tentative results and the more orthodox treatment presented in this paper. Thus an “inclusive fitness” of genes can be defined, but only in a very special approximate case. However exactly the opposite conclusions as Hamilton’s are reached by interpreting our models both from Hamilton’s and from other, more plausible, points of view.

Alternative explanations based on biological preconditions rather than the mode of inheritance are proposed for hymenopteran societies. On the other hand the reasoning in this paper might help to explain systematic differences in social behavior between mammals and birds, especially if they were determined by sex linked characters (points on which no information is available).

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Scudo, F.M., Ghiselin, M.T. Familial selection and the evolution of social behavior. J Genet 62, 1–31 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02984178

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  • Haldane
  • Inclusive Fitness
  • Reciprocal Altruism
  • Individual Competition
  • Warm Blooded Vertebrate