04 June 1999
Vol 284, Issue 5420

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

COVER In some animal societies, one individual watches for predators while others forage. A study of meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in the southern Kalahari suggests that guarding is in an individual's own interests if no other animal is on guard, once its stomach is full. The alternation of guards favors no regular rota and apparently occurs because the relative benefits of feeding versus guarding increase the longer an individual is on guard and as it continues to feed. See page 1640 [Image:T. H. Clutton-Brock]