Early experience affects producer-scrounger foraging tendencies in the house sparrow

Group foragers can use a [`]producer’ tactic which involves searching for food or a [`]scrounger’ tactic which involves joining others who have discovered food. While these alternative behaviours are well documented, it is not clear to what extent an individual’s tendency to forage independently or to follow others is under genetic control or rather is […]

A dynamic method to study the transmission of social foraging information in flocks using robots

To understand the mechanisms underlying the flow of social information in foraging groups, it is important to manipulate the behaviour of individuals and study the responses of flock members under different ecological and social conditions. Some studies have attempted this using three-dimensional models, like robots. Our goal was to assess the foraging and scanning behaviour […]

Personality affects zebra finch feeding success in a producer-scrounger game

Recent evidence strongly suggests that natural selection can favour the evolution of consistent individual differences in behaviour ([`]personalities’). Indeed, personality shows heritable variation and has been linked to fitness in many species. However, the fitness effects of personality are highly variable within and between species. Furthermore, the nature of the causal influence of personality on […]

The dining etiquette of desert baboons: the roles of social bonds, kinship, and dominance in co-feeding networks

Abstract To better understand how individual relationships influence patterns of social foraging in primate groups, we explored networks of co-feeding in wild desert baboons (Papio ursinus). To minimize the risk of aggression and injury associated with contest competition, we expected that individual group members would choose to co-feed with those group-mates that are most likely […]

Linking social foraging behaviour with individual time budgets and emergent group-level phenomena

A social group’s time budget is an emergent property of individual-level decisions about how to allocate time. One fundamental determinant of these time allocation decisions is foraging success. Yet while there is a growing appreciation of how social animals optimize their foraging behaviour, our understanding of the mechanisms that link this behaviour with individual time […]

Mechanisms and extent of information transfer in socially foraging guppies, Poecilia reticulata

Many species in social groups make use of readily available, socially provided information for behaviours including predator avoidance, mate choice and foraging. Not only are actions imitated, but they may also be reapplied in variable future situations, suggesting an explicit knowledge of the purpose of the behaviours. Social learning thus enables animals to learn about […]

Dominance, pair bonds and boldness determine social-foraging tactics in rooks, Corvus frugilegus

Socially foraging animals can search for resources themselves (produce) or exploit the discoveries made by others (scrounge). The extensive literature on producer–scrounger dynamics has mainly focused on scramble competition over readily accessible resources, thereby largely neglecting the variety of scrounging techniques individuals may use as well as the role of investment in food handling. Furthermore, […]