Giraffe social preferences are context dependent

The dynamic nature of animal societies often hides multiple layers of complexity. The field of animal behaviour is rapidly advancing with the development of increasingly sophisticated analytical methods that allow scientists to identify complex and nuanced drivers of social patterns. The resurgent interest in giraffe sociality illustrates this by challenging the early view that individuals […]

Network measures for dyadic interactions: stability and reliability

Abstract Social network analysis (SNA) is a general heading for a collection of statistical tools that aim to describe social interactions and social structure by representing individuals and their interactions as graph objects. It was originally developed for the social sciences, but more recently it was also adopted by behavioral ecologists. However, although SNA offers […]

Space to choose: network analysis of social preferences in a captive chimpanzee community, and implications for management

Abstract Social network analysis (SNA) is rapidly gaining popularity in primatology, but its application to the management of zoo-housed primates has been largely overlooked. Here I use SNA techniques to explore the social structure of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) housed in the new “Budongo Trail” exhibit at Edinburgh Zoo, UK. Given that individuals have extensive space […]

Grooming network cohesion and the role of individuals in a captive chimpanzee group

Abstract Social network analysis offers new tools to study the social structure of primate groups. We used social network analysis to investigate the cohesiveness of a grooming network in a captive chimpanzee group (N = 17) and the role that individuals may play in it. Using data from a year-long observation, we constructed an unweighted […]

Baboon (Papio anubis) social complexity—a network approach

Abstract Although many studies have analyzed the causes and consequences of social relationships, few studies have explicitly assessed how measures of social relationships are affected by the choice of behaviors used to quantify them. The use of many behaviors to measure social relationships in primates has long been advocated, but it was analytically difficult to […]

Effects of natal male alliances on aggression and power dynamics in rhesus macaques

Abstract In the wild, male rhesus macaques disperse at sexual maturity. In captivity, however, males cannot disperse from their natal groups. Thus, the presence of natal males in captive rhesus social groups is unnatural and has the potential to negatively influence group dynamics and stability. A primary difference between natal males and non-natal (immigrant) males […]

A comparative network analysis of social style in macaques

In group-living species, individuals gain significant advantages from establishing an extensive network of social relationships. This results in complex organizations that are difficult to quantify in a comprehensive manner. In this respect, network analyses are an ideal means to pinpoint the overall properties of social structures, and the place of each individual within these structures. […]

Network structure is related to social conflict in a cooperatively breeding fish

The nature of individual social interactions can have a profound influence on group structure and function. Here, we use social network analysis to examine patterns of dominance interactions and spatial associations in 14 captive social groups of the cooperatively breeding cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher. In this cichlid, social groups are composed of a dominant breeding pair […]

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. […]

Correcting for the impact of gregariousness in social network analyses

The social network approach provides a set of statistical tools to analyse associations between individuals. The ‘half-weight index’ (HWI), the association index most commonly used in social network analyses, does not take into account differences between the gregariousness of individuals. Thus, the HWI may not be a good measure of relationships between individuals: it could […]