Group living occurs throughout the animal kingdom...
Living in groups provides animals with benefits that can increase their chances of survival. For example, Banded Mongooses watch for predators together, Wolves hunt together, Wilderbeest travel together and Wasps raise brood together.
As we've all experienced, humans also live in groups. However, modern human groups are notably different from those observed in the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans maintain many different social groups including family, friendship and, work groups which are often comprised of unrelated individuals. Moreover, these groups may exist despite physical separation where telephones, the internet or post may allow us to communicate.
A New Experiment at ZSL London Zoo
We aim to examine how and why humans might have evolved the ability to maintain such complex social groups. What is it about us that allows us to do this? We are using state-of-the-art RFID technology (as found in your Oyster card) to gain a real-time picture of how human groups coordinate themselves and which factors may be important.
This experiment will not only allow us to have a greater understanding of how and why human groups are so complex but will also provide novel insights that we can use in our everyday lives e.g. at work.