Effectiveness of familiar kin and unfamiliar nonkin demonstrator rats in altering food choices of their observers

In a series of three experiments, we examined the prediction from formal theories of the evolution of social learning that, all else being equal, animals should be more likely to learn socially from familiar individuals or kin than from unfamiliar individuals or nonkin. In all three experiments, contrary to prediction, naïve Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus, […]

Parent-offspring recognition in Brandt’s voles, Lasiopodomys brandti

We investigated social interaction behaviour (amicable versus agonistic) to evaluate parent-offspring recognition in male and female Brandt’s voles. We first examined whether the parents were able to distinguish their own familiar related offspring at the age of weaning from unfamiliar unrelated offspring. Both male and female parents, when encountering unfamiliar unrelated juveniles in a neutral […]

Clustered environmental enrichments induce more aggression and stereotypic behaviour than do dispersed enrichments in female mice

Adding environmental enrichments to a previously resource-poor cage or enclosure can sometimes cause elevated aggression in socially housed animals, due to competition over the provided resources. Here, using female C57BL/6J mice, we investigated whether the way that environmental enrichments are distributed affects the risk of negative interactions between individuals and whether familiar siblings are less […]

Effects of social rank and familiarity on dustbathing in domestic fowl

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of social rank (Experiment 1) and familiarity (Experiment 2) on dustbathing in domestic hens (Gallus gallus domesticus). We conducted choice tests between two conditions using actual birds as the stimuli and evaluated the effects in terms of quality and quantity of dustbathing performed. Twenty-four, medium-ranked […]

Better the devil you know: familiarity affects foraging activity of red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus

Many animals can recognize previously encountered individuals and modify their behaviour towards them. Individuals also can have increased growth or other fitness components when interacting with familiar compared to unfamiliar individuals. One hypothesis explaining fitness benefits is that animals forage less in the presence of unfamiliar conspecifics because they spend time avoiding or interacting with […]

Shelter use of familiar and unfamiliar groups of juvenile European catfish Silurus glanis

Within aquaculture systems, shelters are often used to reduce cannibalism, minimise energy consumption, accelerate the start of exogenous feeding, support growth, and improve survival and welfare. However, stronger competition for shelters in aquaculture systems relative to that under wild conditions may result in a higher level of aggressiveness accompanied by an increase in energy consumption. […]

Smells familiar: group-joining decisions of predatory mites are mediated by olfactory cues of social familiarity

Group-living animals frequently have to trade off the costs and benefits of leaving an established group and joining another group. Owing to their high fitness relevance, group-joining decisions are commonly nonrandom and may be based on traits of both individual members and the group such as life stage, body size, social status and group density […]

Friends give benefits: autumn social familiarity preferences predict reproductive output

Fission–fusion dynamics create social instability, as individuals must adjust to changes in group size and composition. In many social species, group changes are associated with increases in aggression, stress responses and individual mortality. It has been hypothesized that fission–fusion processes select for strong bonds between familiar individuals that provide a predictable social environment across group […]