Maladaptive evolution or how a beneficial mutation may get lost due to nepotism

Irith Aloni, Amiyaal Ilany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spotted hyenas are an exception in the animal kingdom not only due to female dominance over males, but also because of the strict female linear hierarchy which determines priority of access to resources and produces considerable female reproductive skew. This special social system raises a question: what would become of a beneficial mutation if it occurred in a low-ranking female? We used several simulation models in order to address this question. Our modeling results indicate that such a social system may inhibit the establishment of a beneficial mutation. However, this negative effect may be counteracted by random choice of mates by females.

Original languageEnglish
Article number965
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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