Collective Animal Behavior

By David J. T. Sumpter | Go to book overview

— Chapter 3 —
Information Transfer

A key benefit of being near to others is access to information. Animals often live in environments where resources are distributed in patches that exist only temporarily. In such an environment, a single individual has a very low rate of finding a resource patch if they search independently. When large numbers of individuals search at the same time, however, the probability that one of them finds one of the patches is considerably larger. If individuals are able to monitor and use the discoveries of others in their own search, they can increase their own rate of finding resources.

Many of the mechanisms underlying information transfer are the same across species. Underlying all information transfer is some form of positive feedback: one individual finds food, a second moves towards the first individual and then still a third moves towards the second and so on. This chapter uses a couple of simple mathematical models of positive feedback to provide a reference point for different forms of information transfer. These models help us classify information transfer seen across species.


Information Centers

Living in a communal nest or den provides a good opportunity for information transfer, and in some cases may be the reason communal living has evolved (Zahavi 1971). Individuals returning to the nest with food also carry with them information about its location and quality. This information can be used by nestmates. In social insects, sophisticated signals have evolved to actively communicate food discoveries. Such signals have also evolved in some birds and mammals, but they are not a necessary requirement for information transfer. Communally nesting animals can also use passive cues, such as flight direction and smell, to identify where food has come from.

-44-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Collective Animal Behavior
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Coming Together 14
  • Chapter 3 - Information Transfer 44
  • Chapter 4 - Making Decisions 77
  • Chapter 5 - Moving Together 101
  • Chapter 6 - Synchronization 130
  • Chapter 7 - Structures 151
  • Chapter 8 - Regulation 173
  • Chapter 9 - Complicated Interactions 198
  • Chapter 10 - The Evolution of Co-Operâtion 223
  • Chapter 11 - Conclusions 253
  • References 259
  • Index 293
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 302

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.