On monogamy and sibling co-operation, from ScienceDaily:
In their paper, Professor David Westneat and his graduate student Jacqueline Dillard–both at the University of Kentucky–present three alternative explanations:
Monogamy and sibling cooperation co-evolved, so that one trait increased the benefits of the other.
Ecological pressures selected for both monogamy and sibling cooperation simultaneously, so that one trait does not depend on the other.
The evolution of monogamy created new physiological and behavioral adaptations that may also be useful in sibling cooperation.
“This is a case study demonstrating the importance of not boiling organisms down to simple traits,” says Dillard, who studies a socially monogamous group of Bess Beetles. She notes that the classic monogamy hypothesis considers a single link between the high occurrences of sibling cooperation in monogamous species, when a number of factors could be in play.
For example, from beetles to birds to humans, both monogamy and sibling cooperation tend to occur where the value of caring for young is high and the opportunities for mating are low, so environmental changes that increase the benefits of care, such as food scarcity, or reduce likelihood of reproducing, could promote both traits. Paper. (paywall) – Dillard and Westneat. Disentangling the correlated evolution of monogamy and cooperation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.03.009 More.
“Monogamy” and “sibling co-operation” among humans are terms that are meaningful only among humans. They depend on the recognition of abstractions like “marriage” and “family.” Humans often do things, in recognition of relationships, that are not in their survival interests.
It is not the same as in beetles and birds.
But Darwin’s followers must make a living somehow. And pop science awaits with interest.
See also: STDs + Stone Age = monogamy!!
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Stuff that happens among humans but not animals: