selfish herd

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A theory proposed in 1971 by W. D. Hamilton (1936–2000) according to which the risk to an individual of predation is reduced if that individual places another individual between itself and the predator. When many individuals behave in this way an aggregation is the inevitable result and, because the risk is least near the centre and greatest at the edge, individuals of high social status will tend to occupy the centre and subordinate individuals will be pushed to the edge.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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