W. D. Hamilton’s concept of inclusive fitness is arguably the most significant refinement of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, explaining the evolution of costly behaviors that are directed toward close kin (Hamilton 1964). Hamilton also predicted the evolution of mechanisms to facilitate the accurate recognition of kin. Two common mechanisms of kin recognition are familiarity and phenotype matching. With familiarity (also known as “prior association”), animals learn the cues or labels of related individuals during early development (e.g., siblings) and later discriminate these familiar individuals from unfamiliar ones. Phenotype matching is an extension of familiarity. Here, animals learn their own phenotypes and/or those of their familiar kin and later compare or match the phenotypes of unknown animals to this learned recognition template. For phenotype matching to occur, there must be a correlation between phenotypic and genotypic similarity, so that individuals with traits...
- Mateo, J. M. (2004). Recognition systems and biological organization: The perception component of recognition. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 41, 729–745.Google Scholar