Abstract

Recently, the DomWorld model was used to evaluate five dominance ranking methods. The suitability of the DomWorld model for this purpose is however not without question. The characteristic unidirectionality of most dominance behaviour observed in many monkey species is not found in DomWorld. Besides this, the current paper shows that the additive dominance value updating method in combination with the relative win chance, Pij = DOM i /(DOM i + DOM j ), gives rise to unrealistically large changes in win chance after fights among low ranking individuals. It is shown that this can be resolved by replacing the additive update rule by a multiplicative one. Moreover, this combination of relative win chance and multiplicative update rule is equivalent to the combination of a sigmoidal win chance and additive update rule as employed in the Elo-rating method. It is also shown that, contrary to Hemelrijk's recommendation, David's score is to be preferred to the average dominance index. The paper concludes with presenting a differentiated list of recommendations on the use of ranking methods that takes into account the required premises and different aims for which these methods have been developed.

In: Behaviour

Abstract

We investigated dyadic grooming relationships in a captive group of bonobos (Pan paniscus) and questioned what social function grooming fulfils in the 'market of services and favors'. Hereto we examined which of two theoretical models - grooming for support (Seyfarth, 1977, 1980) or grooming according to the similarity principle (de Waal & Luttrell, 1986) - best accounted for the observed grooming distribution. Similarity in traits did not correlate with increased grooming or close proximity among the individuals. Therefore, the similarity hypothesis was rejected. Seyfarth's model of rank-related grooming was largely confirmed. The animals distributed their grooming according to the rank of the receivers. We found an exchange between grooming and receipt of support. There was more grooming up than down the hierarchy. However, not all predictions about rank-related competition over grooming were confirmed. We found that dyadic grooming reciprocity indeed increased with decreasing rank distance. Yet, there was no increase of grooming within the dyad with decreasing rank distance and high ranking individuals were not competed over at the highest rates. The observed correlation between grooming and support received represents an important fit with Seyfarth's prediction, but does not allow for conclusions about underlying causal processes. Other causal explanations, besides the 'groom to receive support' hypothesis, that could explain a similar correlation are discussed.

In: Behaviour

Abstract

MatMan is a program for performing a variety of ethological analyses of frequency (interaction) matrices and transition matrices. These analyses include linear hierarchy indices for dominance matrices (APPLEBY, 1983), reorganization of a dominance matrix such that the subjects are in rank order, matrix correlation methods such as Mantel's test (MANTEL, 1967) and rowwise matrix correlation (DE VRIES, 1993), methods based on information theory (STEINBERG, 1977), and the calculation of expected and residual values in transition matrices with defined or undefined diagonal. In addition, MatMan offers some useful options for manipulating matrices. Import of matrices from The Observer (NOLDUS, 1991) and SAS is, within certain limitations, possible. Export of matrices is possible to the programs CORAN (1985), Vegrow (FRESCO, 1989), NCSS (HINTZE, 1987), SAS and SPSSPC.

In: Behaviour

Abstract

Bonobos have been described as a relatively egalitarian and female dominant species. The exact nature and quality of their dominance relationships and the existence of female dominance are current topics of dispute. We investigated the consistency across social contexts, the stability in time, and the degree of expression of the competitive feeding ability and agonistic dominance in a captive group of bonobos. First, we examined whether the competitive feeding ranks and agonistic ranks differed in different dyadic contexts, triadic contexts and the whole group context. For some pairs of animals the dominance relationships with respect to competitive feeding altered with different group compositions. The agonistic dominance relationships changed accordingly. The competitive feeding ranks and agonistic ranks in the experiments correlated strongly with each other. The alpha position was occupied by a female, but not all females outranked all males. We suggest that females can profit from each others presence to gain inter-sexual dominance. Second, although the agonistic rank order in the whole group remained the same over at least five years, some dyadic competitive feeding ranks changed over time, resulting in a stronger female intersexual dominance. Third, the degree of expression of the behaviors used to quantify dyadic competitive and agonistic dominance was not high, in line with the popular 'egalitarian' epithet. Notwithstanding its low consistency across contexts, the dominance hierarchy in the whole group has a strong predictive value for other social relationships such as grooming. Given this strong effect of rank on other behaviours and given the strong dependency of rank on social context, the choice of the right party members may be a crucial factor in the fission-fusion processes of free-ranging bonobos.

In: Behaviour

Relatedness is likely to affect the decisions of animals regarding their affiliations with conspecifics. Social network analysis provides tools to describe the social structure of animals. Here, we investigate the social network of a population of 27 unmanaged Konik horses in the Blauwe Kamer Nature Reserve, in the Netherlands. We test three hypotheses: (1) that related individuals will have stronger associations; (2) that individuals with low values of average relatedness to their neighbors in the network will have more links and (3) homophily, the tendency of individuals to associate with similar others, will lead to stronger associations among individuals of similar sex, reproductive state, age and rank in the social network. We videotaped 22 horses (excluding foals) and their interactions. Relatedness was calculated from the pedigree, which was based on parentage, determined by DNA analysis. The social network was based on spatial proximity data. There was no significant influence of relatedness on strength of associations in the network or an influence of age- or rank-homophily. We argue that the lack of a relatedness effect is not likely to have been caused by an inability to detect kinship. Strength of associations in the social network was significantly affected by the tendency of the horses to associate with individuals of the same sex and the same reproductive state. This social network pattern is not common in mammals, and the study of unexplained variation in choice and strength of associations may have important implications for other equids increasingly confined to reserves worldwide.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution

Abstract

Biological market models explain variability in reciprocity and interchange between groups. In groups with a shallow dominance gradient, grooming will be mostly exchanged for itself (i.e. exchange will occur). In groups with steep dominance hierarchies, interchange is expected: individuals will groom higher ranking individuals to get access to limited resources or commodities such as support in conflicts, and grooming will be traded for these commodities.We examine patterns of reciprocity in grooming and support, and of interchange of grooming for support or for tolerance in six captive groups of bonobos. We test whether differences between groups in patterns of reciprocity and interchange can be attributed to differences in a measure of steepness of dominance hierarchies, which is based on dyadic agonistic interactions.We found that grooming was reciprocal in some, but not all groups. Support was highly reciprocal, but this was a side effect of dominance in most groups. Interchange between grooming and support was observed in some groups. Corroborating earlier findings, this was a side effect of individuals preferring high ranking individuals as grooming and support partners, possibly because these high-ranking individuals provide more efficient support in conflicts. There was no evidence for interchange of grooming for tolerance.Variability in grooming reciprocity was explained by differences in steepness of dominance hierarchies, as predicted by the biological market models. In groups with a shallow dominance hierarchy, grooming was more reciprocal. This was not true for reciprocity in support. There was some evidence that individuals groomed dominants more frequently in groups with a steep dominance hierarchy. The variation in interchange relations between grooming and support did not depend on the steepness of dominance hierarchies. We suggest that grooming in itself is a valuable commodity in bonobos, especially under captive conditions, which can be exchanged reciprocally. Bonobos may interchange grooming for another value equivalent, with food sharing as a very likely candidate. This interchange effects seem more dependent on potential to monopolise food than on steepness of dominance hierarchies per se.

In: Behaviour

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