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In this paper, bio-inspired cooperation rules are applied to wireless communication networks. The main goal is to derive cooperative behavior rules to improve the energy consumption of each mobile device. The paper describes a medium access control (MAC) protocol particularly designed for peer-to-peer communication among cooperative wireless mobile devices. The work is based on a novel communication architecture, where a group of mobile devices operates in a cellular environment while the devices are simultaneously connected with each other over short-range links. Prior work has investigated the energy savings that can be achieved by this architecture using game theoretic approaches. As an extension, this work explores the impact of the MAC protocol on the power saving capabilities. This paper shows that standard MAC mechanisms are not optimized for the considered cooperative setup. A new MAC protocol is proposed to achieve better power saving performance of the cellular/short-range setup using bio-inspired cooperation rules.