Concept/Content cooperation / colony of cliff swallows, who exhibit cooperative foraging
Information caption  
Inquiry caption Here is one more example of intraspecific cooperation. When cliff swallows go out again after returning from a successful foraging event, other birds sometimes follow them. Information about the location of food is thus shared. If the birds were competing for the same food resources, what type of behavior would you expect to be most adaptive? In this case — also observed among osprey, weaver birds, crows, honeybees, ants, termites and others — food becomes available in periodic, plentiful batches. Food is not limited by competition, and the information about where to find it may be shared at no relative cost to the individual. Individuals also benefit when they can freely follow others.
Target Concept: Organisms may cooperate when each benefits.
Photographer Tony Gallucci
Credit "Courtesy of Tony Gallucci."
SIZE in pixels [file size] 600x450

© 2008