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Many animal species live and breed in colonies. Although biologists have documented numerous costs and benefits of group living, they still often disagree on why coloniality evolved in the first place. During a twelve-year study of a population of cliff swallows in Nebraska, the Browns investigated 26 social and ecological costs and benefits of coloniality, how they are reflected in reproductive success and survivorship, and speculate on the evolution of the cliff swallow coloniality.