Theory predicts that the evolution of cooperative behaviour is favoured by low levels of promiscuity leading to high within-group relatedness. However, in vertebrates, cooperation often occurs between non-relatives and promiscuity rates are among the highest recorded. Here we resolve this apparent inconsistency with a phylogenetic analysis of 267 bird species, demonstrating that cooperative breeding is associated with low promiscuity; that in cooperative species, helping is more common when p...Expand abstract
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Promiscuity and the evolutionary transition to complex societies.
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