The Mix Matters- Behavioural Types and Group Dynamics in Water Striders

The effect of an individual’s behavioral type (e.g., its boldness or aggressiveness) on fitness likely depends on the environmental context. In many species, an important component of an individual’s environment is its social environment — the mix of individuals in its social group. Accordingly, much of game theory assumes that the mix of behavioral types […]

Understanding how animals fight with Lloyd Morgan’s canon

Various game theory models have been used to explain animal contests. Here we attend to the presumed cognitive abilities required by these models with respect to information gathering and consequent decision making. Some, such as the hawk/dove game and self-assessment models require very limited cognitive ability. By contrast, the broadly accepted sequential assessment model requires […]

The parental investment models of Maynard Smith: a retrospective and prospective view

In his paper ‘Parental investment: a prospective analysis’, Maynard Smith (1977, Animal Behaviour, 25, 1–9) introduced a game-theoretic approach to understanding the evolution of parental behaviour and addressed the broad issue of which sex should provide care for the young. This paper was important in that it introduced the use of game theory to the […]