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Reconciliation in Domestic Goats

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Sezione Miglioramento delle Produzioni Animali, SP 028, Dipartimento Innovazione, C.R. Casaccia, ENEA, S.P. Anguillarese 301, 00060 Roma, Italy;, Email: glogab@rmnet.it
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to test whether domestic goats (Capra hircus) reconciled after experimentally induced conflicts. After conflicts, goats showed a higher frequency of affiliative contacts (muzzle-muzzle and muzzle-body contacts, allogrooming) and of lying in proximity than in control observations. Besides, renewed aggression was more frequent after conflicts, and both the victim and the aggressor showed a higher frequency of displacement activities (scratching and selfgrooming), possibly indicating an anxious emotional state. Post-conflict friendly reunions reduced the frequency of displacement activities in the victim, but not in the aggressor. These results provide evidence of post-conflict reconciliation in domestic goats and suggest that one of the functions of reconciliation is to reduce the victim's arousal or anxiety.

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