15. Team Game

Your Evolutionary Heritage

Canadian geese migrate thousands of miles twice a year in flocks with wonderfully integrated movement. The long axis of the flock is at almost right angles to the direction of the movement—the flock is roughly shaped like a great bird. Each goose lifts and lowers its wings in sync with the bird on either side of it, flying as one great bird.

This is an example of a behavior in which two or more animals act as one, with both individual and group benefits. In the case of the geese, the formation reduces drag and creates draft, so the long migration isn’t as tiring as a solo flight would be, thus ensuring more the group (and thus individuals) would have a successful flight. Such cooperation is ...

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