Navigation Links
Fairy wrens: Accountants of the animal kingdom
Date:3/18/2011

A puzzling example of altruism in nature has been debunked with researchers showing that purple-crowned fairy wrens are in reality cunningly planning for their own future when they assist in raising other birds' young by balancing the amount of assistance they give with the benefits they expect to receive in the future.

Dr Anne Peters, of the Monash University School of Biological Sciences, together with co-authors Sjouke Kingma from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Michelle L. Hall of the Australian National University, have conducted a long term study of the cooperative breeding behaviour of fairy-wrens in tropical Australia.

The results, published in the prestigious journal The American Naturalist, show that helpers are not motivated by kindness.

"The study showed that the seemingly selfless little helpers are in fact carefully calculating accountants" said Dr Peters, senior author of the study.

Cooperative breeding, where birds apparently selflessly raise others' offspring, has long perplexed biologists as this behaviour runs counter to Darwin's theory of natural selection, which predicts that individuals invest only in their own reproduction.

Fairy-wrens are habitual cooperative breeders. The helpers are generally older silblings or half-siblings of the current nestlings, and their behaviour is likely explained by an instinctive desire to see more of their shared genes entering the gene pool.

Purple-crowned fairy-wrens extend this assistance to unrelated nestlings.

Dr Peters' study shows that these apparently altruistic helpers are actually playing a selfish game: they help when their chances of inheriting the current breeding territory are greater, and they are thus helping to raise their own future assistants.

"Ours is the first study to show that helpers at the nest adjust their behaviour precisely according to multiple potential rewards: they provide food to kin,
'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Walker
media@monash.edu
61-399-034-840
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
4. Earliest animal footprints ever found -- discovered in Nevada
5. Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed
6. Drug-embedded microparticles bolster heart function in animal studies
7. Swamping bad cells with good in ALS animal models helps sustain breathing
8. Moderate use averts failure of type 2 diabetes drugs in animal model
9. Grapes may aid a bunch of heart risk factors, animal study finds
10. Animal and biological science highlights: San Antonio Fluid Dynamics Conference, Nov. 23-25
11. Discovery of giant roaming deep sea protist provides new perspective on animal evolution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/7/2015)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , May 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... new touch fingerprint sensors, FPC1022 and FPC1035, FPC,s ... FPC1022 and FPC1035 are mainly considered for integration ... decreased size gives smartphone OEMs increased possibilities to ... portfolio. The decreased size also improves possibilities for ...
(Date:4/27/2015)... Conn. , Apr. 27, 2015 NXT-ID, ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... commence shipping to pre-order customers the first week of ... through the month of May. ... a significant milestone for the company as Wocket® enters ...
(Date:4/20/2015)... The announcement comes as demand for fire vault ... Ireland,s foremost records management company, has secured ... impressive track record of clients within the first 12 months, ... sector in Dubai . As a result, ... a further eight staff members at its Irish headquarters. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):FPC Introduces its Smallest Touch Fingerprint Sensors to Date 2Wocket, the Smartest Wallet You Will Ever Own, Announces Shipment to Pre-order Customers 2Wocket, the Smartest Wallet You Will Ever Own, Announces Shipment to Pre-order Customers 3Glenbeigh Records Management Wins Contract With Dubai Islamic Bank 2Glenbeigh Records Management Wins Contract With Dubai Islamic Bank 3
... of the strange, bony crests on the heads of ... incredibly long, convoluted nasal passages that loop up over ... University of Toronto, Ohio University and Montana State University ... crests and reconstruct the brains and nasal cavities of ...
... available in German . Tomislav Domazet-Loo and ... in Pln, Germany, have systematically analysed the time of emergence ... also initiate diseases. Their studies show for the first time ... at the origin of the first cells. The search for ...
... foundation grants exceeding $3 million will assist Michigan ... farms to turn animal waste into usable heat, ... Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center will consolidate ... building south of campus, at MSU,s expanding farm ...
Cached Biology News:Key to function of dinosaur crests found in brain structure 2Genetic based human diseases are an ancient evolutionary legacy 2Cost-effective farm waste-to-energy technology focus of research 2Cost-effective farm waste-to-energy technology focus of research 3
(Date:5/26/2015)... CITY , Kalifornien und HILDEN, Deutschland, ... QIAGEN Clinical Insight ® ... von Genvarianten und die Erstellung dazugehöriger Berichte; ... ESHG     QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: ... gab heute die Markteinführung von QIAGEN Clinical ...
(Date:5/26/2015)... , May 26, 2015   Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... that Gregory Frost , Ph.D., Senior Vice President and ... 2015 Global Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, June 3 rd , ... New York City . About ... is Powering the Bioindustrial Revolution with Better DNA ™ ...
(Date:5/26/2015)... (PRWEB) May 26, 2015 Global ... have announced plans for the company’s first cellular and ... followed by a full day, hands-on stem cell training ... J. Victor Garcia Gimenez, M.D., President of Therapeutic Confrontations ... medical community’s increasing interest in regenerative medicine and recent ...
(Date:5/26/2015)... 2015  A simple blood test developed at the ... early Alzheimer,s disease is a step closer to being ... guidelines that are needed before a blood test could ... Alzheimer,s & Dementia . The guidelines establish protocols and ... that includes UNT Health Science Center. "If ...
Breaking Biology Technology:QIAGEN bringt klinische Bioinformatik-Plattform für Next Generation Sequencing-Anwendungen auf den Markt 2QIAGEN bringt klinische Bioinformatik-Plattform für Next Generation Sequencing-Anwendungen auf den Markt 3QIAGEN bringt klinische Bioinformatik-Plattform für Next Generation Sequencing-Anwendungen auf den Markt 4QIAGEN bringt klinische Bioinformatik-Plattform für Next Generation Sequencing-Anwendungen auf den Markt 5QIAGEN bringt klinische Bioinformatik-Plattform für Next Generation Sequencing-Anwendungen auf den Markt 6Intrexon to Present at the Jefferies 2015 Global Healthcare Conference 2Stem Cell Training, Inc. Announces First European Symposium on Cellular and Regenerative Medicine 2Stem Cell Training, Inc. Announces First European Symposium on Cellular and Regenerative Medicine 3Guidelines bring UNT Health Science Center's blood test for Alzheimer's one step closer 2
... computers are static. In our brains, information processing ... international research team from Japan and Michigan Technological ... evolution in an organic molecular layer that can ... a brain-like "evolutionary circuit" has been realized. ...
... April 23 Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... the Deutsche Bank,s 35th Annual Health Care Conference in ... Wednesday, May 5 at 9:20 a.m. EDT ... be providing an update on the company,s business. The ...
... NEW YORK , April 23 Golub ... million of senior subordinated debt to support the ... ("IDT").  This transaction marks the first investment made by ... sixth fund dedicated to middle market mezzanine debt financings. ...
Cached Biology Technology:Caliper Life Sciences to Present at Deutsche Bank's 35th Annual Health Care Conference 2Golub Capital Provides Financing to Support The Recapitalization of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. 2Golub Capital Provides Financing to Support The Recapitalization of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. 3
Mycoplasma and virus tested...
Mycoplasma and virus tested...
... Western Protein Standards are specifically designed ... weight estimation directly on western blots. ... binding site, allowing direct visualization with ... detect your target protein on the ...
Edited by Benjamin Lewin (1997) • This book gives an integrated account of the structure and function of genes in both prokaryotic organisms and is thoroughly up to date with the latest thinking...
Biology Products: