Social behavior occurs whenever one individual interacts with one or more members of the same species. Social behavior is diverse, ranging from pairwise interactions such as territorial defense and mating behavior to the complex coordination of large social groups. Because behavioral ecology examines how natural selection shapes behavior, it is concerned with social behavior and its impact on the ecology of animals. In this article, we discuss some of the best-studied topics in behavioral ecology: foraging, territoriality, mating behavior, and the evolution of the structure of societies.

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