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The research, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, sheds new light on the evolution of animal groups that organize and hunt together.
"Consider the coordinated attacks of prides of lions or wolves, or the dazzling swirling behaviour of starlings or schools of sardines," says Jonathan Pruitt, an evolutionary biologist and Canada 150 Chair in the McMaster's Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour.
Societies - Strategies - Individuals - Traits - Success
"These societies are able to organize and execute strategies that cannot be produced by single individuals. We wanted to see if the collective traits that enable success might depend on the traits of neighboring groups."
Researchers set out to better understand successful collective hunting practices by studying the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola (S. dumicola). While colonies of S. dumicola do not compete with one another face to face, a single plant may be home to several colonies, resulting in increased competition for flying prey.
Pruitt - Team - Sites - Africa - 'neighourhoods
Pruitt and his team travelled to two sites in southern Africa and created 'neighourhoods' or clusters of competing spider colonies with very...
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