Category Archives: About cooperation

Reciprocity before Trivers

“New” ideas are rarely new. In science we stand on the shoulders of giants and whenever I read the works of the giants, I often find that many ideas or discoveries– that I thought were “mine” or belonged to some … Continue reading

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Field notes on weekend trip to Costa Rica (with disc-winged bats!)

Spix’s disc-winged bat Thyroptera tricolor has suction cups (yes, suction cups) on its thumbs, and it uses these to cling to the smooth surface of young, furled Heliconia leaves. I’ve wanted to see a disc-winged bat since I was about … Continue reading

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New paper: risk exaggerates nepotism in vampire bats

Here’s the paper. In evolutionary biology, we often draw a line between “altruism” and other cooperative traits. Altruistic traits are special in that they lead to a net cost to one’s survival and reproduction. Some traits are clear cases: when a … Continue reading

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Revisiting Wilkinson 1984

In 1984, Gerald Wilkinson published a paper in Nature showing that vampire bats share food in the form of regurgitated blood, within groups that contain both kin and non-kin. This was one of the fi… Source: Revisiting Wilkinson 1984

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Social inheritance in vampire food-sharing networks?

We are soon to be wrapping up several analyses and starting some new ones. I want to mention one analysis that never really got off the ground, but it’s a good idea. My intern Jana asked me a great question: Does … Continue reading

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Non-maternal allogrooming of pups

We have four new vampire bats. The bats here at the field station have been breeding in captivity, which is a good sign that they are doing well, and it ensures we have some highly related dyads for our experiments. My … Continue reading

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What can vampire bats teach us about human cooperation?

I have been asked this question several times by journalists and people during outreach events. So here’s my answer: If you really want to understand human cooperation, you should study humans. Specifically, we should study how humans cooperate with each … Continue reading

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