Natural selection favors traits for reciprocal altruism (doing a good deed today in the hope of being repaid at some point in the future) under certain conditions:
i The individual that benefits from the altruistic behavior will be around in the future to do a good deed in return.
i The benefit you accrue from doing a good deed is greater than the cost of doing the good deed in the first place.
i Individuals are able to identify cheaters — individuals who accept altruism but never pay anyone back.
Because these conditions occur rarely in nature, instances of reciprocal altruism are rare as well. Still, examples of reciprocal altruism exist in nature. One naturally altruistic creature is — believe it or not — the female vampire bat, as shown in an experiment performed by Gerald Wilkinson.
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