Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-4rdrl Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-16T17:47:09.870Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2010

Peter G. Hepper
Affiliation:
Queen's University Belfast
Get access

Summary

The importance of kinship for human societies has long been recognized, indeed the interest in kinship is reflected in the large number of works, plays, books, operas, etc., which have kinship, often mistaken, as their central theme. Whilst there has been little doubt that humans recognize their kin and respond differentially to them, the ability of animals to recognize and respond differentially to kin has received little attention. In recent years, however, study of the influence of kinship on the social behaviour of animals has increased dramatically. Much of the impetus for this research can be attributed to the seminal works of Hamilton (1964a,b) and later Wilson (1975). Evidence that kinship, or genetic relatedness, influences an individual's behaviour has now been documented in all the major groups of animals – from single-celled organisms (e.g. Grosberg & Quinn, 1986) to man (e.g. see Porter, this volume). Reptiles remain an exception to this and only recently have studies appeared providing evidence of kin recognition in this group (e.g. Werner et al, 1987), which probably reflects a lack of empirical investigation rather than a lack of ability to recognize kin. As diverse as the groups of animals which exhibit evidence of kin recognition are the behaviours in which individuals respond differentially on the basis of kinship; colonization patterns, mating, play, aggression, feeding, schooling, swarming, defence, etc. all are influenced by kinship. Investigations of the ability to recognize kin have revealed that individuals have well developed capabilities to recognize kin; siblings, half-siblings, cousins, parents, offspring, grandparents, aunts and uncles are all capable of being discriminated. Kinship thus appears to influence behaviour throughout the animal kingdom.

Type
Chapter
Information
Kin Recognition , pp. 1 - 5
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1991

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×