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Bill Hamilton - the Greatest Darwinian Since Darwin

Gadagkar, R (2001) Bill Hamilton - the Greatest Darwinian Since Darwin. In: Resonance - Journal of Science Education, 6 (4). pp. 4-5.

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William Donald Hamilton, described by Richard Dawkins (authorofThe Selfish Gene), as the greatest Darwinian since Darwin, made many monumental contributions to evolutionary biology, but his theory for the evolution of altruism stands out as his most significant contribution. Some animals, especially social insects, display remarkable degrees of altruistic behaviour. The honeybee worker for example spends her whole life working for the welfare of her colony and helps the queen to reproduce, and dies usually without producing any of her own offspring. Indeed, she even commits suicide in an attempt to protect her colony - when she stings any marauder of her nest, she is unable to withdraw her sting. Her abdomen ruptures and she flies away leaving behind her sting, her poison gland and a portion of her intestines, only to die within a few minutes. But her poison gland continues to pump venom into the victim for some 60 seconds after the bee has flown away.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Resonance - Journal of Science Education
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: Bill Hamilton; Tribute; Altruism; Evolution of altruism
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2021 08:14
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2021 08:14
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68349

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