Nov 122011
 
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Darwin’s theory says: Only the fittest survives. But why some species live in a communities, in which reproduction is a privilege of only a few members, can seemingly not be explained by the theory of evolution.

A prominent example for division of labour are the honey bees. In their colony, the work is minutely divided. Nutrition is procured by the group and the offspring is jointly nursed. But parenthood is the privilege of the queen bee, all other females are infertile.

The technical term for this behaviour is eusociality. Somehow the renouncement of reproduction makes sense in terms of evolution for certain communities and certain species.

We would like to know, why this is the case and thus ask the question of the month: “How is the theory of evolution compatible with eusociality?”

Detektor.fm asked Thomas Jagau, editor of the Journal of Unsolved Questions, for an answer.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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