Speed of animal evolution enhanced by cooperative behaviour

Speed of animal evolution enhanced by cooperative behaviour
Credit: University of Cambridge

A study by scientists from the University of Cambridge has revealed how cooperative behaviour between insect family members changes how rapidly body size evolves – with the speed of evolution increasing when individual animals help one another.

Cooperative behaviour is a key part of animal family life: parents help offspring by supplying them with , and siblings can also work together to acquire food. The Cambridge study, published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution, looked at the burying beetle – unusual in the insect world as the parents feed their offspring.

Larvae in small broods are well supplied with food by their parents and grow large. In the parents' absence, can also help each other to forage for food. However, in the absence of their parents, small broods of larvae are less effective at helping each other and can never grow as big.

"For our study, we played the role of natural selection. In some experimental beetle populations, we chose only the largest beetles to breed at each generation and in some we chose only the smallest beetles," said Benjamin Jarrett from the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

"Crucially, we also changed the social conditions within beetle families. In some populations, we allowed parents to help their offspring, but in other populations we removed the parents, and larvae had to help each other. We found that the social conditions made a big difference to how quickly beetle size evolves over generations."

Beetles only evolved a larger body size when parents were present to help rear their young. In stark contrast, smaller only evolved when beetle parents were removed, and there were too few larvae to help each other.

The experiment helps explain how different species of burying beetle might have evolved their different body sizes. In general, larger species of beetle have more diligent parents than smaller species.

Burying beetles use the dead body of a small animal, like a mouse or bird, for reproduction. The parents shave and bury the carcass, to make it into an edible nest for their larvae. The larvae can feed themselves on the carrion, but the parent beetles also regurgitate partly digested food to them. The species used in this study has quite variable levels of parental care: occasionally larvae have to fend for themselves on the carcass because they have been abandoned by their parents.

"Previous work has focused on the puzzle of how evolves, because seems to favour animals that are selfish," said Professor Rebecca Kilner, who is senior author of this paper. "We have shown that what happens next, in evolutionary terms, is just as interesting. Once cooperation has evolved, it can change the way in which evolution then unfolds."

The researchers now hope to uses experimental evolution to understand what happens across many generations when changing the extent of parental care.

"We can remove parents from caring for their offspring in one , and we do this to their offspring too, and their grandoffspring, and so on," added Jarrett. "We currently have populations of beetles that have not had parents looking after them as they grow up for 25 generations.

"What this does is change what evolution is working on. Natural selection is usually acting on the combination of parents and , and now, by removing , we have changed the traits on which acts."

Explore further

Burying beetles: Could being a good father send you to an early grave?

More information: Cooperative interactions within the family enhance the capacity for evolutionary change in body size, Nature Ecology and Evolution, dx.doi.org/10.1038/241559-017-0178
Journal information: Nature Ecology & Evolution

Citation: Speed of animal evolution enhanced by cooperative behaviour (2017, May 29) retrieved 20 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-animal-evolution-cooperative-behaviour.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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User comments

May 30, 2017
Pheromones effect more rapid evolution.
based upon what evidence?

care to link some studies to support that one?

May 30, 2017
Cap'n, is this the first time you've encountered Bubba? He's a classic crackpot. Just read a few of his posts and discover his singular fixation.

May 30, 2017
Cap'n, is this the first time you've encountered Bubba? He's a classic crackpot. Just read a few of his posts and discover his singular fixation.
i'm attempting to get said poster to link some source material

methinks that once we start seeing source material and the choices made we can narrow down the person behind the sock

May 30, 2017
Ross Nicholson, though often writes under B. Nicholson. Unfortunately if you press him for evidence, he will link to his own material, including his own self-published book.

May 30, 2017
we can narrow down the person behind the sock

JVK. 'Nuff said.

May 30, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

May 30, 2017
No one has ever asked for references
you mean like i did above?
including human beings
except you can't definitively state that considering the following: http://rspb.royal...full.pdf

Scents are why pubic hair is curly
calling BS on this one
There are thousands of annotated facts in my book. Study it
according to most xtians there are also thousands of annotated "facts" in their "book"

a book is not a study

i am not asking for anecdote nor your personal belief because that means you're promoting a faith, not science

you are on a science site making blanket statements that i am saying are wrong - so prove your point with evidence

and by evidence i mean reputable peer reviewed journal studies that can be replicated and thus validated


otherwise you're no different than any other religious crank

May 30, 2017
Ross Nicholson, though often writes under B. Nicholson. Unfortunately if you press him for evidence, he will link to his own material, including his own self-published book.
well... you called that one right on the nose!




we can narrow down the person behind the sock

JVK. 'Nuff said.
that is a suspicion, definitely

and so far it's not helping that bubba thinks a book of anecdote is somehow equivalent to a journal study...

May 30, 2017
Principia was self published. There's no stigma
because it used facts and allowed people to test, retest and validate the claims within
also, it was 1687 unless you are talking about Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead

you have yet to provide any reputable evidence other than "because you say so"
There are thousands of references, yes
then you should be able to copy and paste the HTTP address from your browser bar into the text box of the post sharing at least a few recent validated studies
Sorry, I don't know how to make links
considering google is free and you are posting to a science site, this is not an excuse
copy the text from your address bar of the browser to the post and allow for spaces and the site will automatically do the rest

even the text would be usable to the most basic internet literate user as you can copy/paste it back to the browser

May 30, 2017
@bubba cont'd
A lot of people believing something does not make it true. For instance, today is not "Tuesday", that is merely a consensus of opinion. Actually, there's nothing Tuesday about today, is there?
1- science isn't about a lot of people believing in something, nor is it about concensus or a vote about the validity of something
however, a personal book self published is all about the vanity of the author, especially considering the following: http://sci-ence.o...-flags2/

read all 16 boxes and consider it before replying with yet another pheromone claim, especially considering the above link i presented showing there is, and i quote:" there is no robust bioassay-led evidence for the widely published claims that four steroid molecules are human pheromones: androstenone, androstenol, androstadienone and estratetraenol."


so your continued posting of pheromone BS is called faith, or belief, not science

May 30, 2017
@bubba cont'd
2- science, unlike your claims, is repeatable and testable

3- science has the added restriction of peer review which, as proven, though it is not 100% effective all the time, it is the best method to limit pseudoscience exposure, as it will destroy a scientists reputation should they post a blatant lie (see: https://en.wikipe...akefield )

4- the information in a study or in science is able to be checked without padding your own personal pocket
whereas a private personal book pads your pocket regardless of the contents - you have a no lose situation where you get financial compensation regardless of the content. you could be posting a list of phone numbers from 1620 for all we know [hyperbole intended]

get the point yet?

May 30, 2017
Admittedly, some things I accept as true may be mere consensus
this is true of philosophical beliefs or your interpretation of reality around you only

science isn't about consensus any more than space exploration is about lemon meringue

when you hear about consensus in any science topic it is usually because the overwhelming repeatedly validated evidence all points towards a single point: gravity, climate change, GR/SR, etc
From my perusing this site, which is useful to me occasionally, very few have done the work of confirmation needed to differentiate what is known vs what is merely assumed from consensus
one major point: i am demonstrating that this is you

see that link above?
or here: http://rspb.royal...full.pdf

May 30, 2017
Yes, the cure for crime is 250mg of healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid pheromone
this is simple enough to prove you wrong - if this were true, and only 250mg were needed, then there would be no crime where a heterosexual woman or a homosexual man were involved
yes it is literally on the end of your nose if you are man enough
man enough?
if you want to challenge my manhood, then present valid verifiable evidence of your claims and prove me wrong with factual science that is testable...

i am a retired soldier, firefighter, investigator. i've been insulted by the best and you are not it
"overlooked" literally by everyone here but me

so you're just another jvk wanna-be crank with a "buy my book" message

thanks for validating that one for me

May 30, 2017
Uh huh. So are they actually endorsing group selection or not?

Come on. Take a stand. Have some balls.

May 30, 2017
If you read my chapter on pheromone chemistry in the book I wrote
problem 1- considing you claim to have a considerable IQ, and it's really "entirely logical chemistry and physics", then why has no one ever been able to replicate your work for a journal?

problem 2- if you have the considerable IQ you claim, then why can't you use a computer, or spell check, as demonstrated in the above link?

problem 3- considering everything you claimed here and elsewhere, why can't you grasp the basics of the scientific method?

all i have asked for is reputable journal references that i can validate, but you keep refusing to post anything objective or empirical

it doesn't matter what technobabble you regurgitate here - it only matters what can be proven

rule 37 - there are no [insert claim here] on the internet

May 30, 2017
We know from at least 3 experiments that human pheromone reception is insidious.

perhaps you can see the problem better described this way:
considering the vastness of the internet domain
considering the sheer numbers of original profiles on Phys.org alone
considering even just your own local crime statistics
how likely is it you are being factual versus the likelihood of you being a fraud, especially since you have not been able to provide any secondary or non-personal verifiable information to science or valid research supporting or demonstrating anything you've said?


perhaps this will help you understand:
it's like being on Nebraska Ave in Tampa circa 1989 - if you're dressed like a hooker, and you sound like a hooker, and you solicit sex from an unknown, then the probability that you're a nun attempting to help feed the homeless is negligible
As I see I have an audience
actually, you're being ridiculed

May 30, 2017
Now you have 15 pieces of wrapped "paternal facial skin surface lipid pheromone laced chewing gum"
given your extreme knowledge on this topic, please tell everyone the steps to test how to validate that you contain said paternal facial skin surface lipid pheromone and not just, say... snot mixed with crisco
Cure is instant
and i've already proven that this is a blatantly false claim
(means you're a liar)

considering you're attempting to sell this on the internet and teaching this is a cure without requisite medical license/training, then this makes you also guilty of fraud and practicing medicine without a license

this is criminal in your state and you should definitely contact a lawyer

May 30, 2017
So, go cure a thousand people as I have. Then you may come back and ridicule me if you are so inclined
1- you only claim to have done this - you can't prove you've done anything other than talk sh*t on the internet

2- you're being ridiculed for posting a known blatant false claim in a public forum with no privacy protection or right to privacy (means you're a chronic liar and you're doing it in public)

3- technically, this is called practicing medicine without a license and is punishable by law (depending on severity and liability it can be a misdemeanor or felony)

4- considering your attempt above, you can also be charged with fraud (or worse)

5- you have no liability insurance and aren't bonded - so you play a dangerous game considering the litigious nature of the masses

pseudoscience is worth ridicule when a fanatical true believer like yourself attempts to justify it's validity sans evidence

May 30, 2017
Ordinary homosexual or heterosexual kissing passes a few milligrams at best.
and you can show where you've tested this in a lab?

PS - considering the site is allowing your pseudoscience to flourish, then i suggest you intentionally label your own posts as being "IMHO" or, translated due to your age and inability to do basic research - "In My Humble Opinion"

put that on every post and you at least release the phys.org site from the liability of promoting your pseudoscience and false medicine practices allowing you to make the free-speech claim, since you can't actually validate your claims with evidence

otherwise you jeopardize the site with your stupidity and they're far, far more likely to get the funds to litigate than most, considering you'd be removing someone's livelyhood

think on it

May 30, 2017
I am not practicing medicine without a license
yes, you are

unless you're a pharmacist then you just violated FL and FED law

unlike you, i actually do hold a license in your state so i am a little more versed in this than you are... i highly recommend you seek legal counsel and request the site to delete your profile and posts
I did attend SUNY-Upstate medical center until I was literally chased out of the building by a group of my professors!
perhaps they saw early on that you're a quack
if your homework was anything like what you posted above, then i applaud their insight
... but did not take my MD degree, nor my MS Medicine
then you didn't pass the boards in FL because they're required to take the boards

you don't know d*ck about boards or medicine

May 30, 2017
Captain, the grease is on your silly nose
bubba, the smegma is between your ears
ADHD is easiest to cure
then there is hope for you yet!
maybe you should just go bite someone's nose off!

wait... so, considering your claims of pheromones and their curative properties, how is it possible to even get diseases like PTSD, ADHD, etc if you already have a pheromone source that you're constantly exposed to?
Criminal behavior is also common, like ridicule of much smarter people, huh?
well... since you've demonstrated criminal behaviour, then that means you're the one ridiculing smarter people.. so why aren't you curing yourself?

PS - so... you wouldn't mind if i contacted the FL state board, ATTY general and local St. Pete fraud office?

are you sure you're covered?

May 30, 2017
or whatever your true name is. If your real name is "Captain Stumpy" I do apologize
1- call sign is "stumpy", rank is Captain (actually, Truck Captain, retired)

2- i've been known as captain stumpy longer than anything else, so yes, it is my real name
Just do the experiment and see
1- i don't have a lab that can insure results

2- neither do you, otherwise you would be able to publish a link to the journal results
you get all riled up like your opinion is more important that curing disease or even talking about curing disease
pseudoscience kills people, you idiot
or didn't you learn anything from the wakefield disaster?
click this link: https://en.wikipe...akefield

people are still believing vaccinations are bad despite the overwhelming evidence

that isn't swearing at a colleague, that is swearing because some crank is pushing a false claim as curative and trying to get rich off the illiterate (aka-fruad)

May 30, 2017
@bubba cont'd
I did pass the boards in Florida, at Gainesville, by the way
no, you didn't
1- to even take the boards (medical boards) you are required to show proof of education
so if you "did not take my MD degree, nor my MS Medicine" then you didn't pass the boards because you were not allowed to take them

2- if you passed the boards you will have a license that i can validate with the state board, of which i've seen no indication of in any search of state licensed practitioners

just FYI - if you passed the boards your name would be in the database, and it's not, therefore you're lying again

you can't BS me with some lame story
as i stated to you already, i hold a license in FL and i have family holding license there as well

care to retract or will you try again?

May 30, 2017
We did the Assuit Children Hospital double blind, cross over, placebo controlled clinical trial on 20 boys ages 6-9 hospitalized for ADHD, gave them all the pheromone and all recovered
1- read this link: http://www.auburn...ion.html

2- based on the above link, this is what is called, at best, an untested claim because you cannot provide any evidence that you made such a clinical trial

however, considering you've also made other blatantly false claims that have been noted above, the likelihood of this being yet another false claim is exponentially high

rule 37
making a claim on the internet is like urinating into the ocean - no one cares what you think and there isn't a way to validate your claim unless there is evidence

you know, something other than "because i said so"?

haven't you got that basic point yet?

it's the entire foundation of the scientific method, to which you're claiming a working knowledge of

May 30, 2017
I just spent 4 years in medical school. You know best. Hang me from the tallest yard arm
you still don't get it: 1- you can't prove you spent any time in med school
2- your claims are directly refuted by the evidence, which is the following:
-failure to provide any evidence at all whatsoever
-blatant false claim regarding the boards
-directly contradicted claims
I've gotten FDA approval, IRB approvals, you don't care, do you
how can i care about something you can't prove exists?
it's like asking if i care about the plight of faerie farts
I've been visited by 8 different police forces
and this isn't a big red flag for you?
I have found the cure for 27 diseases
and yet you still can't prove it?

maybe i should just send you all my cash whenever i get paid?

for making claims of being so intelligent, you sure are dumb as a brick

the only thing i've asked for is objective evidence - so why can't you provide it?

May 30, 2017
...4 years in medical school.... Hang me from the tallest yard arm...you don't care, do you...I am within the law and I am a patriotic citizen of the USA....Order your firing squad
what i find fascinating is that i ask a very simple thing: for evidence

to which you respond by being defensive and providing absolutely no evidence while continuing to make outlandish assertions about yourself

think about that for a long moment and then ask yourself: what is the foundation of the scientific method?

if i remain skeptical of your claims it is because you've provided no evidence to support your claims

plus, the claims you did make cannot be verified (like passing the boards)

a layman might not know that passing the boards makes your information part of a public record, but as a licensed professional in FL (etc) i happen to know it does


get ready to be visited by the 9th force

May 30, 2017
@bubba the pseudoscience snake oil salesman
cure your drug addiction
so, because i out you as a crank and prove you're a lying POS religious nut, i have a drug addiction?
I expect this sort of extreme, crazy suspicion from someone who has taken the healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid pheromone.
so, if i take it i'm cured, but i will be an adult with extreme, crazy suspicion?

how is that a cure, you idiot?

you're the worst type of fraud - targeting people with mental illnesses and lying to them with your religious belief system

worse yet, you can't seem to remember if it causes the problem or it cures it, according to your last post!

May 31, 2017
@bubba the pseudoscience snake oil quack
how could I be targeting people with mental illness?
are you stupid?
I thought you claimed to be Mensa level intelligent

when you post "[insert drug addiction or mental illness] can be remedied without withdrawal symptoms by taking [insert your pheromone delusion]" then you are attempting to get mentally unstable people to buy your snake oil

it is also fraudulent as you can't produce any verifiable science to validate even your cursory claims, like passing the med board

that isn't my misinterpretation, either, you idiot

that is defined clearly in state and federal law as being fraud and a few other things as i linked to you already
you want to con veterans, mentally inflicted and addicts with a fraudulent claim that can't be supported by any science but you think i should relax?

you're a lying POS fraud, and that is the only thing you've proven

May 31, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult quack
Wow, you're pretty suspicious, aren't you?
only of fraudulent quacks who attempt to push fraudulent pseudoscience as legitimate science
I know that PTSD is due to a pheromone deficiency because other workers found clues I put together
then you don't know d*ck about PTSD, and you've just validated my statements about you being a fraud: https://www.nimh....ex.shtml

so tell us: does your treatment show physical changes in the hippocampi? (L or R)
We're really at the anecdote stage for these pheromone cures
like i said: you're promoting a religion because you can't show physical evidence

you're a fraud preying on the injured in the hopes of pocketing cash for a known pseudoscience and false hope

you're a lying POS fraud, and that is the only thing you've proven

May 31, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult quack
Pheromone recognition and association areas of the brain will resume normal size and shape, normal functioning, any damage not too extensive will be bypassed and compensated for
1- now i know you're a fraudulent liar


2- you have absolutely no evidence at all whatsoever to support this claim

like i said: you're promoting a religion because you can't show physical evidence

you're a fraud preying on the injured in the hopes of pocketing cash for a known pseudoscience and false hope

you're a lying POS fraud, and that is the only thing you've proven

Jun 01, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack
I have offered to cure you, sir.
you have offered a fraudulent cure based upon your religious beliefs in pheromones, which you can't even prove exist (or didn't you read that study i linked to you?)
You do have the option to stay sick
you are the only one assuming that i'm sick
but even if i was, you've not been able to provide any evidence that your pseudoscience bullsh*t even exists, let alone demonstrate it's effectiveness
and to libel people who are trying to help you
like i said elsewhere: if you think it's libel, take me to court

the judge will state: "it's not libel if it's demonstrably factual"

you do NOT have any empirical evidence, let alone any scientific factual evidence, that demonstrates your pseudoscience crank "medicine" is even as effective as prayer, let alone placebo

you're a fraud

Jun 01, 2017
we can narrow down the person behind the sock
JVK. 'Nuff said.
Nope. Take a look at the comment stream at https://www.psych...cent-sex . JVK and Nicholson start to argue.
BN: "Thanks again for re-publishing my early 1980's work as your own unapologetically."
JVK: "Your implication of plagiarism is libelous. ... Why would I want to plagiarize your nonsense?" JVK posts a link to the hilarious comments made be BN on techdirt.com, and BN eventually responds by making some of the same claims as at techdirt: he's written half the films in Hollywood, he's the inspiration of national leaders, and he solved the JFK assassination.
At http://www.firstn...nes.html we can see that the author, Avery Gilbert, is aware of JVK and BN as separate people: "Surprisingly, JVK is upstaged by Ross (aka Bubba) Nicholson who comment spams his latest publication."

Jun 01, 2017
Avery Gilbert, a psychologist working in the area of smell, has personally met Bubba at a conference and obviously has encountered JVK a time or two as well, at least on the internet. I really love his phrase "James V. Komment." I'm afraid we've all seen a few too many James V. Komments.

Jun 02, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack
I can change people's sexual orientation, a feat no psychologist has ever accomplished
this is also a feat you have never accomplished
it's a feat that not only can't be accomplished, but makes you an idiot for attempting to boast about it in a public forum
Nobody takes an internet "Captain Stumpy" to court
this speaks volumes about your intelligence as well as your incompetence
1- you're not intelligent enough to do basic research (there goes your "high IQ claims" - LOL)

2- you're so incompetent that you can't contact a lawyer to insure your own status or discuss legal matters

at least the intellectual here can now see that you're just a pseudoscience idiot attempting to promote yourself by spamming all the MED and science articles

keep watching your door for the board and po-po

fraud and practicing medicine without a license is illegal in FL, even if you do it on the internet

Jun 02, 2017
Nope. Take a look at the comment stream at
well, at first i was suspicious of jvk, but jvk is actually a tad more literate than this idiot

jvk is definitely at least capable enough to link references, even when (though) he completely misunderstands the science

syntax is all wrong for the above idiot being jvk too, and it is obvious that not only does said idiot bubba not know the basics of internet, but also doesn't know the basics of the scientific method, let alone basic research or medical protocols (apparently he thinks knowing a couple tech-y words makes him an "expert")

these are definitely two separate entities, and the state of FL is already aware of the idiot bubba and his fraud

what makes me worried is that someone might actually try to take this idiot up on his "medicinal treatments"

any basic internet search will show he is a liar & fraud, especially with his "cure" claims

-but considering this site still has believers in eu and aether...

Jun 03, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack
Sooner or later, with the cure for opioid addiction literally sitting on your noses, one of you will try it and it will work
1- if your "cure" worked, why can't you get published in a peer reviewed journal?
answer: you're a fraud

2- prescribing a psychotropic cure based upon your supposed medical and/or science background is illegal
evidence you're a fraud

3- you still can't produce anything supporting your claims (any of them on the site) other than your own personal statements of belief

fraud and practicing medicine without a license is illegal, even if you do it on the internet

and it's especially heinous that you target the desperate and mentally strained in your quest

Jun 03, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack
I'll write something up and submit it
if you manage to get past peer review without laughter or being arrested for practicing medicine without a license and prescribing psychotropics, let us know
Offering advice is not fraudulent
1- you didn't offer advice, you attempted to prescribe psychotropic medicine for a condition without license, you idiot

2- you have absolutely no ability to validate your claims with any reputable science or validated studies while attempting to gain financial compensation for your "protocols" in your book which is being offered as curative for disparate and different disease along with your proposition that this is science due to your professional claims of education and passing the board - that is called fraudulent
see also: http://thelawdict...g/fraud/


Jun 03, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack cont'd
This is NOT a site for desperate and mentally ill people such as yourself
this is a science news aggregate, not a forum
and i am not the mentally ill person here: you are, and this is demonstrable as I can provide empirical evidence from your own posts that you're producing religious fanaticism, delusional claims and intentionally fraudulent information
My messages are for funded scientists with credentials and free access to institutional review boards who might wish a collaboration
1- you need to learn how to internet, then, because this is a news site with a comment section

2- there are some scientists on this site but none will accept your personal claims without validation, and that means studies and science

the one thing you have yet to provide is any science or valid medicinal claims

if you want professionals, you should get a subscription to AAAS or Science Mag, you idiot

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