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Nature. 2010 Aug 26;466(7310):1057-62. doi: 10.1038/nature09205.

The evolution of eusociality.

Author information

  • 1Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA. martin_nowak@harvard.edu

Abstract

Eusociality, in which some individuals reduce their own lifetime reproductive potential to raise the offspring of others, underlies the most advanced forms of social organization and the ecologically dominant role of social insects and humans. For the past four decades kin selection theory, based on the concept of inclusive fitness, has been the major theoretical attempt to explain the evolution of eusociality. Here we show the limitations of this approach. We argue that standard natural selection theory in the context of precise models of population structure represents a simpler and superior approach, allows the evaluation of multiple competing hypotheses, and provides an exact framework for interpreting empirical observations.

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PMID:
20740005
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3279739
Free PMC Article
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