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kin selection Natural selection of genes that tend to cause the individuals bearing them to be altruistic to close relatives. These relatives therefore have a higher probability of bearing identical copies of those same genes than do other members of the population. Thus kin selection for a gene that tends to cause an animal to share food with a close relative will result in the gene being spread through the population because it (unconsciously) benefits itself. The more closely two animals are related, the higher the probability that they share some identical genes and therefore the more closely their interests coincide. Parental care is a special case of kin selection. See inclusive fitness.