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, […]

Modulation of Aggression in Male Mice: Influence of Cage Cleaning Regime and Scent Marks

Group housing of male laboratory mice often leads to welfare problems due to aggressive behaviour. From a welfare perspective, individual housing is not a preferred solution to these problems – and so we sought other ways of reducing aggression between male mice. Aggression peaks after disturbances such as cage cleaning. Transfer of olfactory cues during […]

Friendship affects gaze following in a tolerant species of macaque, Macaca nigra

Gaze following, the ability to follow the direction in which others are looking, is thought to allow individuals to acquire valuable information from their physical and social environment. Recent studies, using artificial stimuli, showed that gaze following can be modulated by social factors such as dominance or social context, suggesting the importance of integrating these […]

Peaceful post-conflict interactions between aggressors and bystanders in captive lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

We observed a colony of lowland gorillas in order to assess the occurrence of Peaceful Post-Conflict Interactions between Aggressors and Bystanders (PPIAB). We compared the dynamics of PPIAB with those of Peaceful Post-Conflict Interactions between Victims and Bystanders (PPIVB), which are directed toward victims. We confirmed the occurrence of PPIAB (mean Triadic Contact Tendency: 41.7%±16.2% […]

Genetic relatedness does not predict racoon social network structure

Social assortativity, preferentially associating with certain individuals, is a widespread behaviour among a diverse range of taxa. Animals often choose to associate with other individuals based on characteristics such as sex, age, body size, rank and genetic relatedness. These preferences can scale up to shape the overall social structure of an animal group or population. […]

Contrasting context dependence of familiarity and kinship in animal social networks

The social structure of a population is a crucial element of an individual’s environment, fundamentally influencing the transfer of genes, information and diseases. A central question in social network analysis is how different traits affect associations within populations. However, previous studies of animal social networks have typically focused on a single predictor or stage in […]

Social bonds in female baboons: the interaction between personality, kinship and rank

Previous analyses indicate that female baboons that form strong and stable social bonds reproduce more successfully than others, and that some elements of females’ personalities are associated with the tendency to form close social bonds. Here we use a new method to confirm that females’ personalities were stable over time, although not fixed, and that […]

Social status drives social relationships in groups of unrelated female rhesus macaques

Strong social relationships confer health and fitness benefits in a number of species, motivating the need to understand the processes through which they arise. In female cercopithecine primates, both kinship and dominance rank are thought to influence rates of affiliative behaviour and social partner preference. Teasing apart the relative importance of these factors has been […]

Male-male affiliation and cooperation characterize the social behavior of the large-bodied pitheciids, Chiropotes and Cacajao: A review

Cooperation and affiliation between males may be key to the evolution of large multimale-multifemale primate groups in some species. Cacajao and Chiropotes form multimale-multifemale groups larger than those of most other platyrrhines (Cacajao: over 150 and Chiropotes: up to 80 individuals), and groups exhibit a high degree of fission-fusion dynamics. In both genera, males engage […]