Convergent evolution of kin-based sociality in a lizard
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 278, no 1711, 1507-1514 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Studies of social birds and mammals have produced extensive theory regarding the formation and dynamics of kin-based social groups in vertebrates. However, comparing kin dynamics in birds and mammals to social reptiles provides the opportunity to identify selective factors that promote independent origins of kin sociality across vertebrates. We combined a 5-year mark-recapture study with a DNA microsatellite analysis of relatedness in a social lizard (Xantusia vigilis) to examine the formation and stability of kin groups. We found that these lizards are highly sedentary and that groups often form through the delayed dispersal of offspring. Groups containing juveniles had higher relatedness than adult-only groups, as juveniles were commonly found in aggregations with at least one parent and/or sibling. Groups containing nuclear family members were more stable than groups of less-related lizards, as predicted by social theory. We conclude that X. vigilis aggregations conform to patterns of kin sociality observed in avian and mammalian systems and represent an example of convergent evolution in social systems. We suggest that kin-based sociality in this and other lizards may be a by-product of viviparity, which can promote delayed juvenile dispersal by allowing prolonged interaction between a neonate and its mother.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 278, no 1711, 1507-1514 p.
sociality, kin, convergent evolution, dispersal, group stability, Xantusia vigilis
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-153222DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1703ISI: 000289719100009PubMedID: 20926442OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-153222DiVA: diva2:415822