Behavioural analysis of solitary versus socially housed snow leopards (Panthera uncia), with the provision of simulated social contact

Activity budgets of 18 captive snow leopards were analyzed in order to assess the behaviour of cats housed singly versus those housed socially. Six solitary snow leopards and 12 socially housed snow leopards were compared. Pacing and activity level were used as indicators of the potential welfare states of cats under these two conditions. Solitary […]

Presence of a privacy divider increases proximity in pair-housed rhesus monkeys

Use of a privacy panel in the home cage of female pair-housed rhesus monkeys has been reported to increase time spent in close proximity and time spent in affiliative behaviours. In the current study we measured these behaviours in more diverse populations; including male-male and male-female pairs of monkeys actively participating in cognitive experiments. We […]

The Striped Mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) From the Succulent Karoo, South Africa: A Territorial Group-Living Solitary Forager With Communal Breeding and Helpers at the Nest

The authors studied the striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) in the semiarid succulent karoo of South Africa. Mice forage alone, but they live in groups that share a common nest. Groups consist of 1 to 4 breeding females, 1 to 2 breeding males, and their offspring of both sexes, which remain in their natal group even […]

Benefits of pair housing are consistent across a diverse population of rhesus macaques

Introducing singly housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) into isosexual pairs is widely considered to improve welfare. The population of laboratory rhesus macaques is heterogeneous on a variety of factors and there is little literature available to directly evaluate the influence of many of these factors on the benefits of pair housing. Subjects were 46 adult […]

Social environment and agonistic interactions: strategies in a small social mammal

In group-living species, the development of agonistic interactions among conspecifics may be affected by socio-ecological factors, such as size and composition of social group, and availability of nests and food. We analysed the importance of size and composition of social groups on agonistic interactions among males in the Southern mountain cavy (Microcavia australis). We made […]

Behavioral responses to physical vs. social novelty in male and female laboratory rats

Most behavioral tests used with laboratory rodents involve measuring behavioral responses to physical novelty. However, laboratory rodents are often derived from highly social species for which novel social stimuli may induce different levels of fear or curiosity compared to novel physical objects. We hypothesized that behavioral responses will differ in response to novel physical vs. […]

Chimpanzees fail to plan in an exchange task but succeed in a tool-using procedure

Planning has long been considered a uniquely human capacity. Lately, however, it has been shown that apes and a corvid species act now to derive a material future benefit. Since primates are highly social animals and their sociality is considered a strong selective force that resulted in complex cognitive capacities, planning is also expected in […]

Social learning in horses from a novel perspective


Ontogeny of playful contact in a social mongoose, the Meerkat, Suricata suricatta

Playful contact interaction within a captive family of six meerkats was observed using a rotating focal animal observation method over a 5-month period. Ten interaction patterns are described. The mother interacted playfully with her family members at a low rate while the father and young initeracted together far more than with the mother. The parents […]

Social Play in the Domestic Cat

The social play of domestic cats in the laboratory and at home was examined. Categories and sequences of motor patterns were identified and analyzed. The developmental period during which social play was most frequent was established to be from 4 weeks to 4 months. The results suggest that social play functions to provide specific forms […]