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The origin and evolution of animal societies

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The origin and evolution of animal societies Introduction In this essay I will attempt to explain how animal societies came to exist, also how they have managed to be maintained and developed. I will do this by first explaining what a society is. I will go on to describe the many factors involved in being a society including its' advantages and disadvantages. After this I hope to conclude the information in a short passage to illustrate the major points involved with this topic. Definition of a society E. O. Wilson describes social behaviour as a reciprocal communication of a cooperative nature (transcending mere sexual activity) that permits a group of organisms of the same species to become organised in a cooperative manner. (In a complex system of social interactions, individuals are highly dependant on others for their daily living). (E. O. Wilson Sociology: The new synthesis, 1975). Therefore a society is a relationship between individuals of the same species that is mutually beneficial. The basis of society The basis of society seems to be for the purpose of sexual reproduction. Since it is required that social interaction must take place to achieve production of offspring in this way. ...read more.


However organisms of the same species that did not behave in this way and so maintained a solitary lifestyle would have a lower probability of survival. If they are more likely to die then it is more likely that their genes would not be passed on to a new generation. Eventually the non-society forming type may well die out, increasing the chance of the society forming types survival. This is due to the decreased competition from the same species that are not in the society. The non-society type may eventually form a new species (divergent evolution) since their lifestyle is completely different from the others. Chance and environmental pressure would lead to changes in the genes of both types, but the changes would be different and so they would eventually become genetically different. Evolution of existing societies Once a society has formed it is likely that all organisms within that society will undergo evolution that greater facilitates the role of their society. It can be assumed that ants originally did not have a single queen but lived in a colony that had a number of offspring producing females. ...read more.


It is obvious that control of the human society is very fragile; from the number of people that are willing to break the rules. Threats of imprisonment and so taking them away from society is the current method for maintaining order, although this has limited effect. A higher intelligence has resulted in a partial break down of human society, in that most members of our society in some way break the rules imposed on us. It is obvious that control of the human society is very fragile; from the number of people that are willing to break the rules. Conclusions So from this information it can be seen that societies are difficult things to maintain for many species, especially our own. However they are very important to our survival, as things can be accomplished by a society that would be nearly impossible for an individual. There are advantages to living in a society but also disadvantages, however the benefits mostly outweigh the shortcomings. The dominance of humans on Earth is due to the teamwork only possible because of the structure of our lives and how we live with others of the same species. ...read more.

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