Eating each other’s faeces helps earwig young survive famine
New Scientist - 07/21/2016
“Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time to see what environmental factors, including diet, were responsible for the evolution of social tendencies,” says Rebeca Rosengaus at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. “So the manipulations performed by the authors are only a first step to understand the dynamics between environmental stress and sociality.”
Although the evolution of any trait is probably the end result of multiple genetic and environmental factors, she says, “the added benefit of sharing [nutrients] with others was probably one of the several factors that influenced the evolution of social behaviour in some insects”.