Perceptive capacity and cooperative behavior of Asian elephants


Cooperation is not unusual in animal kingdom. Through joint action, it aims to maximize the benefits of cooperators. While between-group competition drives the evolution of cooperation, within-group competition, however, may lead to the breakdown of cooperation. It is hotly debated that how animals mitigate within-group competition to maintain cooperation. Most of cooperation in animal kingdom could be mutualism, while humans performed broader and various cooperation altruistically in local or even global scale. To understand why humans are special in cooperative behaviors, studies across species become necessary to promote comparisons between humans and animals. Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is evolutionarily distant from humans and non-human primates. They are recognized as social and highly cognitive animals, which are ideal for studying cooperative behavior. We found that elephants maintained a high cooperation rate in the loose-string cooperative task. They have a diverse repertoire of behaviors to use when cooperating with others, and are careful about how to mitigate competition based on their relationships. However, when the food reward was limited, the costly competitive behaviors (‘monopoly’ and ‘fight’) increased significantly, leading to a rapid breakdown in cooperation. The instability of elephant cooperation as a result of benefit reduction mirrors that of human society, suggesting that similar fundamental principles may underlie the evolution of cooperation across species. In addition, I will further explore the prosocial behaviors (i.e. consider other’s welfare) of Asian elephants and their perspective capacity.

Speaker: Dr. Lili Li

Affiliation: XTBG

Time: March 22, 2022

Venue: 瞩目会议平台 会议 ID:135 871 8714  会议密码 PWD:666666 

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