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Modèles de dominance et théorie de l’évolution

By Jacques P. Beaugrand


Factors which contribute to the fact that an individual maintains a relationship of quality with its environment, and thus is well adjusted to it, are the same factors which favor its social dominance. In a context in which resources are limited or can become scarce, dominance orders get established because it is to the interest of individuals to compete, and because there exist individual differences in competitive ability due to various degrees of individual adaptation. Individuals which are less adapted learn to avoid futile confrontations with opponents which they assess as superior in adaptation to themselves in the light of acquired eco-socio-cognitive experiences. Social organization of a given species is a compromise between living alone and not being able to profit from the important advantages of living in a group, and living in group of which the major disadvantage is to have to compete with others. The biological value of social organization as a complex property emerging from sociosystems is that such an organization allows some individuals to reproduce more than others. The dominance structure plays a role similar to a filter which retains only the best adapted, a role identical to that of natural selection. Such a differential promotion of individuals which results from intrasexual rivalry furnishes the material to epigamic selection. Females, having interest to be more selective when it comes to choose their reproductive partner, develop preferences for certain types of males which maximize their chances of reproduction. This choice made by females is not necessarily the product of highly complex neurobiological activity but nonetheless it leads to the selection of dominant individuals, thus of those which are the best adapted within a given group

Topics: Animal Behavior, Ethology
Publisher: Presses de l'Université du Québec (PUQ)
Year: 1983
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