cooperative behaviour

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Behaviour in which members of a species combine in an activity, such as hunting, anti-predator behaviour, or care of the young, and in which there is coordination among individuals, to their mutual benefit. Cooperation among members of different species is usually called symbiosis.

Cooperative behaviour requires good communication among the individuals involved. Some degree of altruism is also common, especially in situations requiring vigilance and alarm. The cooperative hunting of wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), lions (Panthera Leo), and hyenas (Hyaena) usually occurs among relatives, and can be accounted for in terms of kin selection. Cooperation in parental behaviour is necessary for reproductive success in many species, especially if the young need to be fed and protected by the parents.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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