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The theory of games and the evolution of animal conflicts

The theory of games and the evolution of animal conflicts,10.1016/0022-5193(74)90110-6,Journal of Theoretical Biology,J MAYNARDSMITH

The theory of games and the evolution of animal conflicts   (Citations: 355)
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The evolution of behaviour patterns used in animal conflicts is discussed, using models based on the theory of games. The paper extends arguments used by Maynard Smith & Price (1973) showing that ritualized behaviour can evolve by individual selection. The concept of an evolutionarily stable strategy, or ESS, is defined. Two types of ritualized contests are distin- guished, "tournaments" and "displays"; the latter, defined as contests without physical contact in which victory goes to the contestant which continues longer, are analyzed in detail. Three main conclusions are drawn. The degree of persistence should be very variable, either between individ- uals or for the same individual at different times; a negative exponential distribution of persistence times is predicted. Individuals should display with constant intensity, independent of how much longer they will in fact continue. An initial asymmetry in the conditions of a contest can be used to settle it, even if it is irrelevant to the outcome of a more protracted con- flict if one were to take place.
Journal: Journal of Theoretical Biology - J THEOR BIOL , vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 209-221, 1974
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