A new insight into one of the biggest questions in science – why some animals, including humans, work together to maintain a common good – has been achieved by scientists at the University of Sheffield.
Massive cluster of sociable weaver
birds' nests festooning a tree
Sociable weavers, a highly gregarious and co-operative breeding bird from the savannahs of southern Africa, build the largest nests of any bird, often weighing tonnes and lasting for decades, and housing colonies of up to several hundred birds.
The massive nests consist of individual nest chambers which are used throughout the year for breeding and roosting and are embedded within a communal thatch.
The thatch covering the nest doesn’t originate from individual chamber building but requires separate investment from colony members to build and maintain it.