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Natural-Born Cheaters: A Look at Double-Dealing Animals [Slide Show]

How animals deceive rivals, peers and mates to get what they want

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CROSS-DRESSING CUTTLEFISH:

A male cuttlefish places himself strategically between the female he wants to woo and a rival male (to the right of the image). He displays his masculine stripes on one half of his body but tricks his rival by donning a female spot pattern on the other half.....[ More ]

COWARDLY CAPUCHINS:

This Capuchin monkey may be dodging battle. Capuchins live in groups and often fight over territory. Researchers have found that the more members in a group, the more likely individuals are to rely on others to defend their turf for them.....[ More ]

DOUBLE-CROSSING MOTHS:

A yucca moth deposits its eggs inside a yucca flower. Normally, moths pollinate the plants at the same time as they lay their eggs. Once hatched, the larvae feed on the product of pollination: yucca seeds.....[ More ]

SNEAKY CLEANERS:

Cleaners swim alongside larger fish, such as this surgeonfish, munching on parasites that live on the host’s surface. They often perform this service in male–female pairs. But sometimes one cleaner will break the social contract by taking a tasty bite of the mucus that coats the larger fish’s skin.....[ More ]

DIRTY DICTYOSTELIUM:

The fruiting body shown here is the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum ’s response to low food conditions. In trying times some amoebae will sacrifice themselves to form the stem of this structure, so that other members of the group can climb up to become the bulb.....[ More ]

FINCHES WITH FORESIGHT:

Zebra finches know when not to double-cross a fellow finch. In a bird version of the prisoner’s dilemma game, zebra finches were trained to decide between sharing seeds with another finch by hopping onto a lever or doing nothing.....[ More ]

CUCKOLD BABOONS:

This Gelada baboon couple is copulating after the male’s victory over the former alpha male. Geladas live in communities that consist of an alpha male, many females and a few weaker males. The dominant male tries to maintain sexual exclusivity with his females by charging at them when they try to mate with another male.....[ More ]

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