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Primate groups vary considerably in size across species. Nonetheless, the distribution of mean species group size has a regular scaling pattern with preferred sizes approximating 2.5, 5, 15, 30 and 50 individuals (although strepsirrhines lack the latter two), with a scaling ratio of approximately 2.5 similar to that observed in human social networks. These clusters appear to form distinct social grades that are associated with rapid evolutionary change, presumably in response to intense environmental selection pressures. These findings may have wider implications for other highly social mammal taxa.

Original publication

DOI

10.1098/rsbl.2017.0490

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biol Lett

Publication Date

01/2018

Volume

14

Keywords

clustering, evolutionary rates, female cohort, optimal group size, social networks