The Social Rank of Zoo-Housed Japanese Macaques is a Predictor of Visitor-Directed Aggression

The effect that visitors have on the behavior and welfare of animals is a widely-studied topic in zoo animal welfare. Typically, these studies focus on how the presence or activity levels of visitors affect animals. However, for many species, and particularly Primates, social factors, such as social rank, can also have a large impact on […]

Social spacing of crayfish in natural habitats: what role does dominance play?

We examined the impact of dominance on crayfish social spacing and resource control. Spatial distributions of individual crayfish, Orconectes propinquus, were recorded from five sample sites in Douglas Lake, MI, USA. Crayfish populations from each site were collected and then immediately transferred to artificial ponds in order to reproduce potential dominance hierarchies. After 15 h […]

Personality predicts social dominance in female zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, in a feeding context

Although personality has been defined as a suite of correlated behaviours, most studies of animal personality actually consider correlations between a few traits. We examined the repeatability and correlational structure of five potential personality traits (activity, neophobia, exploratory tendencies, risk-taking behaviour and obstinacy), in female zebra finches. In addition, we assessed to what extent personality […]

Physiological and health consequences of social status in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Social status affects access to food, mates and shelter and has consequences for the physiology of individuals and their health status. In the zebrafish (Danio rerio), an emerging model for studies into animal behavior, the possible consequences of social hierarchy to an individual’s physiology and health are unknown. To address this, in this species we […]

The relationship between housing and social rant on cortisol, Beta endorphin and dynorphin secretion in sows

Endogenous opioids and glucocorticoids may be useful welfare indicators in pigs. Measures of plasma cortisol were carried out in plasma samples collected hourly, from 8:00 to 17:00 h from High Ranking (HR) (n=5) Middle Ranking (MR) (n=7) and Low Ranking (LR) (n=4) group housed sows and from eight Stall Housed Sows (SHS). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) […]

Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) Rapidly Learn To Select Dominant Individuals in Videos of Artificial Social Interactions Between Unfamiliar Conspecifics

Social animals, such as primates, must behave appropriately in complex social situations such as dominance interactions. Learning dominance information through trial and error would be dangerous; therefore, cognitive mechanisms for rapid learning of dominance information by observation would be adaptive. We used a set of digitally edited artificial social interactions to examine whether rhesus monkeys […]

Stability of social hierarchy in growing female pigs and pregnant sows

Conflicting results between dominance tests and repetitions of these tests over time in pigs may result from a lack of stability of their social hierarchy. The objectives of this study were to compare five methods to measure social hierarchy and to examine the stability of test results over time in groups of growing females and […]

The construction of dominance order: comparing performance of five methods using an individual-based model

In studies of animal behaviour investigators correlate dominance with all kinds of behavioural variables, such as reproductive success and foraging success. Many methods are used to produce a dominance hierarchy from a matrix reflecting the frequency of winning dominance interactions. These different methods produce different hierarchies. However, it is difficult to decide which ranking method […]

Abiotic stressors and the conservation of social species

Human activities have profoundly changed the abiotic environment, which in many cases has resulted in the deterioration of natural ecosystems. This global problem requires collaborative efforts between scientific disciplines and between academics and wildlife managers if we are to preserve the remaining biodiversity. Here I discuss a potential application of behavioral ecology to the conservation […]

Effect of Mother’s Dominance Rank on Offspring Temperament in Infant Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

In humans, temperament plays an important role in socialization and personality. Some temperaments, such as behavioral inhibition are associated with an increased risk for psychopathology. Nonhuman primates can serve as a model for neurobiological and developmental contributions to emotional development and several recent studies have begun to investigate temperament in nonhuman primates. In rhesus monkeys, […]