Cooperation Trumps Competition Among Some Monkeys, Says Study

Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
July 5 2012 3:50 PM

Cooperation Trumps Competition Among Some Monkeys, Says Study

Sometimes cooperation trumps competition—even among wild monkeys. That's what scientists say certain species seem to know despite the competitive evolutionary mandate of "survival of the fittest."

In a five-year study of Gelada monkeys, researchers from three universities have noted that alpha males who allow some subordinate males into their group and even at times form alliances with them suffer fewer takeover attempts. Though Alphas who share their power and cooperate also have to split their genetic monopoly by allowing subordinates to mate with the group’s females, the sex-security tradeoff usually benefits the leader in the long run, according to researchers.

Advertisement

Besides blunting Darwin’s “every critter for itself” argument, what does the study mean for the broader world? Scientists say more studies of different species are needed. We say if you want to know the power of cooperation, just go rent The Mighty Ducks, Ocean's 11, Hoosiers, and Apollo 13.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 16 2014 6:00 AM Can of Worms Prudie offers advice to a letter writer who wants to blackmail a famous ex with tapes of his fetish.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.