ADVANTAGES

Group behaviors are found in organisms ranging from unicellular slime molds to ants to primates, including humans. Many species, with a strong drive for social affiliation, live in groups formed on the basis of genetic relatedness, physical proximity, or other recognition mechanisms (which may be species specific). Group behavior evolved because group membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their relatives. While some groups are stable over long periods of time, others are fluid, with members moving in and out. Groups often dissolve if their size or operation becomes counterproductive, if dominant members lose their place, or if other key members are removed from the group. Group inter-dependence is so strong that animals that usually live in groups suffer, behaviorally as well as physiologically, when reared in isolation, even if all of their physical needs are met.

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