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← Great tits join mobs with neighbours they know

littletrotsky13's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by littletrotsky13

"One: birds join their neighbours because they think: 'My nest could be next.' "Or they join because their neighbours have joined their mobs before, and they know that if they don't reciprocate, they'll be left alone next time. It's sort of great tit tit-for-tat."

I'm inclined to agree with explanation two, if only because I tend to favour game theory-based explanations. Naturally on the genetic subliminal level rather than the direct: those who don't join in and don't get joined in with die out more quickly, due to risks of decreased net protection outweighing the benefits of decreased personnal risks (fending off predators less often).

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 19:07:14 UTC | #937296