"Survival of the fittest" often brings to mind a notion that physical strength and power are key to survival, but that's a misconception. Evolutionarily, fittest refers to a species' ability to reproduce and create an environment where its offspring can flourish. Scientists have found that being able to cooperate and form strong relationships is often essential to species survival, and it's seen when we examine the evolutionary success of our human ancestors, apes, and even our dogs. For that reason, some might say friendliness actually beats out fitness when it comes to survival.

Read This Next

Electric cars are powered by rare metals. Can AI help find them?
How to keep the red wolf from going extinct for a second time
This plant no longer exists. But you can still smell it.

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet