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what determines small-group-animal size?

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what determines small-group-animal size?

Postby charles brough » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:09 pm

We humans lived millions of years as hunting-gathering groups of roughly thirty-five or so people-size. Spiker monkeys live in about twenty-five individual size groups. Other groups of social animals are genrally larger or smaller, but their group size is also unique to each of their species.

This is an important issue because we too evolved as small group primates. So it should have some bearing on what is happening to us in modern times. If not, why not? In what way might we have been seemingly sidestepping our genetic engineering?

In all such small group social animals, the groups break up when they exceed the optimal number for that particular species. The group size has little or nothing to do with the size of the territory or food supply. Rather than expanding in size to fill both the territory and food supply, the groups themselves multiply in number.

There has to be some evolved mechanism in us and other small group animals, one that causes this breakup phenomena. What is the mechanism? Is it genetic? How does it work? Is it working on us now?
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Postby Darby » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:22 pm

There's overall territory and foraging territory - if a group works as a group, there may be an optimal size so that members are not covering the same ground when foraging.

...That's a guess...
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Re: what determines small-group-animal size?

Postby charles brough » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:46 pm

Small group animals live in small groups no matter how vast the area around them. They take their own territory and distinctly separate it from the rest which, in turn, is divided into seperate territories by seperate small groups. With small group animals, the size of the group never expands to fill a larger territory than it can defend against the other similarly size groups. We are not discussing herd animals but small group animals.
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