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Cooperation and cognition in fishes
Alfieri, M.S; Dugatkin, L.A (2006). Cooperation and cognition in fishes, in: Brown, C. et al. (Ed.) Fish cognition and behavior. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series, 11: pp. 203-222
In: Brown, C.; Laland, K.N.; Krause, J. (Ed.) (2006). Fish cognition and behavior. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series, 11. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford. ISBN 978-1-4051-3429-3. XVIII, 328 pp., more
In: Pitcher, T.J. (Ed.) Fish and Aquatic Resources Series. Blackwell Science: Oxford. ISSN 1746-2606, more

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    Aquaculture; Aquatic insects; Evolution; Natural selection; Pisces [WoRMS]; ISEW, Australia, Northern Terr., Darwin [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • Alfieri, M.S
  • Dugatkin, L.A

    'The theory of evolution is based on the struggle for life and the survival of the fittest. Yet cooperation is common between members of the same species and even between members of different species' (Axelrod & Hamilton 1981, p. 1390). In this simple, but powerful quote, Robert Axelrod (a professor of political science) and William Hamilton (a professor of evolutionary biology) illustrate a principal difficulty in understanding cooperation in light of evolutionary theory. Why should any organism help another at risk to itself if there is no apparent benefit in doing so? This question has perplexed evolutionary biologists since the inception of the field. Indeed, Charles Darwin initially struggled to explain how sterile insects, individuals that sacrifice reproduction to contribute to the production of the hive or colony without gaining obvious benefits from their cooperative behaviour, could fit into his theory of natural selection (Darwin 1859). A key question regarding cooperative behaviour and natural selection faced Darwin: namely, how could natural selection favour cooperation if the cooperation does not increase the fitness of those that express this trait? Darwin posited one possible solution when he noted, 'this difficulty, though appearing insuperable, is lessened, or, as I believe, disappears, when it is remembered that selection may be applied to the family, as well as to the individual, and may thus gain the desired end' (Darwin 1859, p. 237). Here Darwin described one of the main paths by which cooperation can arise and be maintained in a population, later described and formalized as kin selection or inclusive fitness by W.D. Hamilton (1964a, b). This chapter will briefly describe kin selection, plus three other categories of cooperation, and will suggest the necessary cognitive prerequisites for cooperation to occur, and provide empirical examples that illustrate each category of cooperation in fishes.

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