7. The emergence of novel behaviours during social evolution

The emergence of novel behaviours during social evolution
Chairs: Philip Kohlmeier (University of Groningen) & Arne Jungwirth (Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology)

The transition from solitary to social life is accompanied by the emergence of novel (social) behaviours. This is achieved either by developing new behaviours previously not expressed during the ancestral solitary stages or by adding a new socially relevant context to already existing behaviours. For instance, workers of social hymenopterans perform a variety of novel tasks not seen in solitary species, e.g. cooperative foraging and social pathogen defence, and in many social species behaviours used during mating and fighting, e.g. antennae drumming and threat displays, gain new functions in communication among group members. In a second step, the expression of these novel and neofunctionalized behaviours can be decoupled from other behavioural programs and by that, lead to the evolution of specialized behavioural phenotypes and division of labour, e.g. found in the workers of many social hymenopterans. The mechanisms that regulate the expression of novel behaviours, behavioural neofunctionalization, and division of labour remain poorly understood, and the evolutionary pathways towards them are still shrouded.

In this symposium, we aim to bring together researchers from various backgrounds to discuss how behavioural adaptations to sociality and division of labour are achieved and which of the processes underlying these adaptations are potentially universal throughout the tree of life. We would like to particularly encourage those to apply who work at the interface of proximate and ultimate aspects of behaviour, and those with an interest in comparative approaches.

Alex JordanThe relationships between social structure, behavioural repertoire size, and neuroanatomy in ecologically similar but socially divergent fishes
Olivier, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, UNISTRA, CNRS, France
Primate Social Organization Evolved from a Flexible Pair-Living Ancestor
Cédric Aumont, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, GermanyImmune gene family diversity across termite phylogeny and sociality
Jan Kreider, University of Groningen, Groningen, The NetherlandsResource sharing leads to the emergence of division of labour
Joachim Frommen, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United KingdomSocial structure, relatedness and helping behaviour in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus savoryi

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