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Behavioral Ecology Vol. 12 No. 5: 534540 Teams in animal societies

Summary: Behavioral Ecology Vol. 12 No. 5: 534540
Teams in animal societies
Carl Andersona and Nigel R. Franksb
aDepartment of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0325, USA, and
bCentre for Mathematical Biology and Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath,
Bath BA2 7AY, UK
We review the existence of teams in animal societies. Teams have previously been dismissed in all but a tiny minority of insect
societies. ``Team'' is a term not generally used in studies of vertebrates. We propose a new rigorous definition of a team that
may be applied to both vertebrate and invertebrate societies. We reconsider what it means to work as a team or group and
suggest that there are many more teams in insect societies than previously thought. A team task requires different subtasks to
be performed concurrently for successful completion. There is a division of labor within a team. Contrary to previous reviews
of teams in social insects, we do not constrain teams to consist of members of different castes and argue that team members
may be interchangeable. Consequently, we suggest that a team is simply the set of individuals that performs a team task. We
contrast teams with groups and suggest that a group task requires the simultaneous performance and cooperation of two or
more individuals for successful completion. In a group, there is no division of labor--each individual performs the same task.
We also contrast vertebrate and invertebrate teams and find that vertebrate teams tend to be associated with hunting and are
based on individual recognition. Invertebrate teams occur in societies characterized by a great deal of redundancy, and we
predict that teams in insect societies are more likely to be found in large polymorphic (``complex'') societies than in small
monomorphic (``simple'') societies. Key words: animal societies, cooperation, division of labor, groups, invertebrates, task types,
teams, vertebrates. [Behav Ecol 12:534540 (2001)]


Source: Anderson, Carl - Synthetic Intelligence, Qbit, LLC, Bethesda, MD


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Engineering; Mathematics