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A major transition in evolution is the origin of a division between reproduction and work among individuals. Nowhere is this divide more striking than in social insects, where workers rarely produce offspring even though they are often capable of reproduction should the queen or king die. The molecular mechanisms that control worker reproduction remain(More)
Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a(More)
We review the historical development of theory on the evolution and ecology of cooperation. Darwin launched this topic of inquiry with a surprisingly modern discussion of how fitness could be derived from both personal reproduction (direct fitness) and the reproduction of family (indirect fitness), and the anarchist Petr Kropotkin forever wove ecology into(More)
BACKGROUND Polyphenism, the expression of different phenotypes with the same genetic background, is well known for social insects. The substantial physiological and morphological differences among the castes generally are the result of differential gene expression. In lower termites, workers are developmentally flexible to become neotenic replacement(More)
The termites evolved eusociality and complex societies before the ants, but have been studied much less. The recent publication of the first two termite genomes provides a unique comparative opportunity, particularly because the sequenced termites represent opposite ends of the social complexity spectrum. Zootermopsis nevadensis has simple colonies with(More)
Termites are social cockroaches and this sociality is founded on a high plasticity during development. Three molting types (progressive, stationary and regressive molts) are fundamental to achieve plasticity during alate/sexual development, and they make termites a major challenge to any model on endocrine regulation in insect development. As the endocrine(More)
Many ant species excavate nests that are made up of chambers and interconnecting tunnels. There is a general trend of an increase in nest complexity with increasing population size. This complexity reflects a higher ramification and anastomosis of tunnels that can be estimated by the meshedness coefficient of the tunnelling networks. It has long been(More)
In species with a high degree of fission-fusion social dynamics, fusions may trigger social conflict and thus provide an opportunity to identify sources of social tension and mechanisms related to its alleviation. We characterized behavioral and endocrine responses of captive female bonobos (Pan paniscus) to fusions within a zoo facility designed to(More)