Genetic Variation in Social Mammals: The Marmot Model

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Science  08 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4431, pp. 665-667
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4431.665


The social substructure and the distribution of genetic variation among colonies of yellow-bellied marmots, when analyzed as an evolutionary system, suggests that this substructure enhances the intercolony variance and retards the fixation of genetic variation. This result supports a traditional theory of gradual evolution rather than recent theories suggesting accelerated evolution in social mammals.