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Gregariousness: what it is, examples and characteristics

The behavior of animals is one of the most curious aspects of nature, as it is something that goes far beyond what a moment can reflect. To understand each specific behavior of each species, it is necessary to know what causes it, as well as to understand how the organism of each species develops, how this behavior has evolved and how the animal benefits from it.

In addition, there are behaviors that are innate, that is, they are genetically programmed, and others that are learned, so that natural selection can shape them. If you are interested in the behavior of animals, from AgroCorrn we explain a specific typology, gregariousness: what it is, examples and characteristics .

What is gregariousness in biology

The gregariousness is a type of relationship established several members of a population when they associate and work together to achieve a common goal with the benefit of all.

But, more specifically, what is a gregarious being? A gregarious being is defined as that individual who has a tendency to group together in herds, schools or colonies for animals, or in social groups, for people, or simply need a group to feel good.

Characteristics of gregariousness

The main characteristic of this type of behavior is the need to associate and coexist with different organisms in order to obtain a common benefit. Within these groupings, there is usually an egalitarian distribution of tasks or there can also be a distribution of tasks by hierarchy.

What is the goal of a gregarious association

Gregarious associations tend to be sought for different reasons, mostly common benefits. Among them, the following are distinguished:

  • Food : gregarious animals tend to obtain higher quality food and even larger prey.
  • Defense against possible predators : defending against possible attacks is always easier when acting in a group, since, mainly, there are a greater number of individuals attentive to the presence of predators. On the other hand, a team offers greater strength.
  • Caring for young : when different individuals coexist in the same group, there is usually a division of tasks, so that while there are some who are dedicated to looking for food, others focus on taking care of the young.
  • Adverse conditions : there are animals, such as penguins, that tend to group in masses in order to cope with very cold conditions to protect themselves and offer warmth to each other.

Types of gregariousness

We have already seen what gregariousness is and what are the objectives of this behavior, but what types of gregariousness are there? We can distinguish two types of gregariousness, they are the following:

Examples of gregariousness

If you are looking for examples of gregarious animals , you must bear in mind that there are hundreds and even thousands of beings that can be grouped to achieve a joint purpose. Let’s see some examples:

  • Guinea pigs : Guinea pigs, for example, are known to be animals with a strong gregarious behavior and with high preferences for living in a community or, at least, in pairs.
  • Parakeets : another clear example are the parakeets, characterized by being very sociable and enthusiastic when it comes to living as a couple. Like them, surely many more examples come to mind, be they lions, sheep, rabbits, elephants or zebras.
  • Fish : in the marine world there are also numerous examples of gregarious animals. Schools of fish, for example, are a clear type of gregarious organisms, since they work as a team to avoid their prey, among other tasks.
  • Bentos : another example, this more peculiar one, occurs in benthos. Within the sessile benthos we find, for example, larvae that are attracted by a chemical component released by adult animals that determines if the area is suitable for a good development of the species.
  • Sponges : Sponges are considered gregarious organisms as well; Although there is competition for the substrate between different species when large colonies are formed, they end up joining each other, giving rise to a single large mass that, although it invites them to maintain their individuality, serves as a defense tool against predators. If you want to know more about the sea ​​sponge: what it is and its characteristics , don’t miss the article dedicated especially to this curious organism.
  • Mussels : Mussels, like sea acorns, are another example of gregarious animals in the marine world.

If you want more examples of types of gregarious animals , here is a list:

Why is it said that the human being is gregarious

The human being is a gregarious being by nature , that is, he tends to associate with other beings similar to him for the execution of common goals and objectives, living together and participating in the evolution and development of his group.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have required teamwork to achieve great goals. In this way civilizations were created and this is also how the human being lives today, in society. In fact, the renowned neurosurgeon Wilfred Trotter described a gregarious instinct ( gregariousness ) innate to the human being like that of other animal species. As a result of this coexistence between beings, the need for communication is triggered, which was initially rudimentary based on gestures and shouts and, over time, has evolved to become a complex and exclusive mode of communication for beings humans: language .

If you want to read more articles similar to Gregariousness: what it is, examples and characteristics , we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities .

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