The process through which two or more individuals benefit from working together to obtain food resources.
Many species benefit from working together, in some form, for the purpose of locating and consuming food. Animals, from insects like the honeybee (Apis spp.) to carnivores such as the gray wolf (Canis lupus) and orca (Orcinus orca), benefit from not only foraging socially but cooperatively. This cooperation has been suggested to be one of the key drivers of evolution, sparking unique cognitive abilities (Wilson 2000).
Cooperative foraging, or by-product mutualism (Connor 1986), distinguishes itself from other social foraging styles (e.g., imitative foraging) in that it occurs when individuals are able to distinguish between group members and engage in altruistic self-restraint and complex communication. These abilities allow group members to coordinate behaviors to achieve a common goal, thus increasing individual foraging...
KeywordsFood Resource Bottlenose Dolphin Cooperative Communication Gray Wolf Reciprocal Altruism
- Gazda, S. K., Connor, R. C., Edgar, R. K., & Cox, F. (2005). A division of labour with role specialization in group-hunting bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off Cedar Key, Florida. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 272, 135–140.Google Scholar
- Mech, L. D. (1970). The wolf: The ecology and behavior of an endangered species. New York: Doubleday Publishing Co..Google Scholar
- Torney, C. J., Berdahl, A., & Couzin, I. D. (2011). Signaling and the evolution of cooperative foraging in dynamic environments. PLoS Computational Biology, 7(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002194.Google Scholar
- Vasquez, R. (1997). Vigilance and social foraging in Octodon degus (Rodentia: Octodontidae) in central Chile. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, 70, 557–563. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2006.01242.x.Google Scholar
- Wilson, E. O. (2000). Sociobiology: The new synthesis. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press.Google Scholar