Kinship shapes affiliative social networks but not aggression in ring-tailed coatis

Hirsch, Ben T., Stanton, Margaret A., and Maldonado, Jesus E. (2012) Kinship shapes affiliative social networks but not aggression in ring-tailed coatis. PLoS ONE, 7 (5). e37301.

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Animal groups typically contain individuals with varying degrees of genetic relatedness, and this variation in kinship has a major influence on patterns of aggression and affiliative behaviors. This link between kinship and social behavior underlies socioecological models which have been developed to explain how and why different types of animal societies evolve. We tested if kinship and age-sex class homophily in two groups of ring-tailed coatis (Nasua nasua) predicted the network structure of three different social behaviors: 1) association, 2) grooming, and 3) aggression. Each group was studied during two consecutive years, resulting in four group-years available for analysis (total of 65 individuals). Association patterns were heavily influenced by agonistic interactions which typically occurred during feeding competition. Grooming networks were shaped by mother-offspring bonds, female-female social relationships, and a strong social attraction to adult males. Mother-offspring pairs were more likely to associate and groom each other, but relatedness had no effect on patterns of aggressive behavior. Additionally, kinship had little to no effect on coalitionary support during agonistic interactions. Adult females commonly came to the aid of juveniles during fights with other group members, but females often supported juveniles who were not their offspring (57% of coalitionary interactions). These patterns did not conform to predictions from socioecological models.

Item ID: 44231
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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© 2012 Hirsch et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), Smithsonian Institution (SI), Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Projects and Grants: NSF BCS-0314525
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2016 04:17
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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