The ties that bind: Genetic relatedness predicts the fission and fusion of social groups in wild African elephants

Many social animals live in stable groups. In contrast, African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) live in unusually fluid, fission–fusion societies. That is, ‘core’ social groups are composed of predictable sets of individuals; however, over the course of hours or days, these groups may temporarily divide and reunite, or they may fuse with other social groups […]

Where sociality and relatedness diverge: the genetic basis for hierarchical social organization in African elephants

Hierarchical properties characterize elephant fission–fusion social organization whereby stable groups of individuals coalesce into higher order groups or split in a predictable manner. This hierarchical complexity is rare among animals and, as such, an examination of the factors driving its emergence offers unique insight into the evolution of social behaviour. Investigation of the genetic basis […]

The link between metabolic rate and body temperature in galliform birds in thermoneutral and heat exposure conditions: The classical and phylogenetically corrected approach

Three galliform species (grey partridges, ring-necked pheasants, and king quail) were involved in body temperature and resting metabolic rate measurements over a broad range of ambient temperatures (20-45 degrees C). At thermoneutrality, inter-species differences in colonic temperature, as well as in metabolic rate, were observed. During heat exposure, all species reacted by elevating their body […]

Evaluation of the genetic management of the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10089.abs Empirical support for the genetic management strategies employed by captive breeding and reintroduction programs is scarce. We evaluated the genetic management plan for the highly endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) developed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Associations (AZA) as a part of the species survival plan (SSP). We contrasted data collected from […]

Making inferences in population genetics

Genetic investigations and pedigree analysis in captive barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia pallas 1777)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430080306.abs The electrophoretic variation of blood proteins (hemoglobin, transferrin, adenylatekinase, and phosphoglucomutase) was studied in a population of 21 barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) living at Frankfurt Zoological Gardens. A polymorphism in hemoglobin was sufficient for pedigree analysis in most cases. It could be demonstrated that one female Barbary sheep cared for a lamb that […]