Intranasal Oxytocin Failed to Affect Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Social Behavior

Oxytocin has been suggested as a treatment to promote positive social interactions in people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). However, it is difficult to test this effect outside of the laboratory in realistic social situations. One way to resolve this issue is to study behavioral changes in closely related species with complex social relationships, such […]

Does the location of enrichment material affect behavior and dirtiness in growing female pigs?

The objective of this study was to investigate if female growing pigs spend similar amounts of time exploring a wooden stick as they do exploring enrichment material regardless of its proximity to the feeder. Forty-eight pigs aged 18 to 26 weeks allocated to 16 pens with three pigs per pen were studied. Fifty percent of the […]

Behavioral responses to emotional challenges in female rats living in a seminatural environment: The role of estrogen receptors

Estrogen receptors (ERs) are involved in sexual as well as non-sexual behaviors. In the present study we assessed the effects of stimuli inducing positive or negative affect on sociosexual, exploratory and fear-related behaviors of female rats housed in groups (4 females, 3 males) in a seminatural environment. Ovariectomized females were treated with oil, 17β‑estradiol benzoate […]

Effect of density and relative aggressiveness on agonistic and affiliative interactions in a newly formed group of horses

Group housing provides horses with social contact, a lack of which is associated with health and behavior problems. Despite the benefits of group housing for horses, horse owners are concerned about aggression and resulting injuries. This study focused on agonistic and affiliative interactions in a focal group of (originally) 12 horses with short-term and longer […]

Social behaviors modulate bottlenose dolphins’ (Tursiops truncatus) breathing rate

Breathing frequency is a non-invasive physiological measure that brings valuable information on the bottlenose dolphins’ internal state and behaviors. When combined with behavioral observations, it helps to better understand and interpret relevant behaviors. The present study aimed to investigate some basic characteristics of breathing rate in nine dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) (e.g., age and sex effects) […]

Sociable schedules: interplay between avian seasonal and social behaviour

Timing is essential in seasonally changing habitats. Survival and reproduction are enhanced through precise adjustment to environmental conditions. Avian seasonal behaviour, that is, diverse activities associated with reproduction, moult and migration, has an endogenous basis and is ultimately linked to changes in environmental factors such as food supply. However, behaviour occurs in social contexts, and […]

Grouping and social preferences in calves, heifers and cows

In order to improve animal welfare, a growing number of calves, heifers and dairy cows are reared in loose housing systems. However, (re)grouping unfamiliar animals may result in aggressive interactions and distress, especially for low ranked animals. Grouping of unfamiliar animals is found to increase aggression, social stress, locomotion behaviour and to have negative effects […]

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 […]

Elephant cognition

No abstract: Topics include “Why study elephant cognition?”, “What do we know about elephant society?”, “Clues to an advanced intelligence?”, and “How has elephant cognition been studied?”

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 […]