Competition has been a vital force in the evolution of life on Earth, but it has not acted alone. Cooperation, too, has played an essential part. So argues mathematical biologist Martin Nowak of Harvard University in the cover story of the July 2012 issue of Scientific American. The slide show below pictures some of the many creatures known to assist those in need.
Foraging honey bees show fellow foragers they way to good food sources.
Male olive baboons will partner up to drive away a female’s existing consort, giving one of the pair the chance to mate with her.
Some meerkats act as sentinels, warning group members with an alarm call when they spy a predator.
Among Florida scrub jays, helpers assist with the rearing of chicks that are not their own.
Male chimpanzees sometimes team up to hunt monkeys for food.