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Title: Necessity, unpredictability and opportunity: an exploration of ecological and social drivers of behavioural innovation
Author(s): Lee, Phyllis C
Moura, Antonio C de A
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Editor(s): Kaufman, AB
Kaufman, JC
Citation: Lee PC & Moura ACAd (2015) Necessity, unpredictability and opportunity: an exploration of ecological and social drivers of behavioural innovation. In: Kaufman AB, Kaufman JC (ed.). Animal Creativity and Innovation. Explorations in Creativity Research, London: Elsevier, pp. 317-329.
Keywords: innovation
adaptive uncertainty
ecological opportunities
Issue Date: 2015
Series/Report no.: Explorations in Creativity Research
Abstract: Our approach is that of attempting to assess the costs and benefits of innovations, using ecological currencies of energy acquisition, time costs and mortality risks. Innovation is suggested to produce benefits during periods of resource unpredictability ("Necessity") that outweigh the average costs of experimentation, and animals living in marginal habitats benefit most from innovation. Adaptive uncertainty in unpredictable environments produces opportunities which are associated with innovation in the larger brained species of mammals and birds. Necessity in the context of coping with social constraints (e.g., limited access to sexual partners) can also be a major driver of innovation. However, we suggest that opportunity alone is not sufficient for the emergence and spread of tool innovations.
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