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Title: Experimental evidence for delayed contingent cooperation among wild dwarf mongooses
Contributor(s): Kern, Julie M  (author)orcid ; Radford, Andrew N (author)
Publication Date: 2018-06-12
Early Online Version: 2018-05-29
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1801000115
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Abstract: Many animals participate in biological markets, with strong evidence existing for immediate cooperative trades. In particular, grooming is often exchanged for itself or other commodities, such as coalitionary support or access to food and mates. More contentious is the possibility that nonhuman animals can rely on memories of recent events, providing contingent cooperation even when there is a temporal delay between two cooperative acts. Here we provide experimental evidence of delayed cross-commodity grooming exchange in wild dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula). First, we use natural observations and social-network analyses to demonstrate a positive link between grooming and sentinel behavior (acting as a raised guard). Group members who contributed more to sentinel behavior received more grooming and had a better social-network position. We then used a field-based playback experiment to test a causal link between contributions to sentinel behavior and grooming received later in the day. During 3-h trial sessions, the perceived sentinel contributions of a focal individual were either up-regulated (playback of its surveillance calls, which are given naturally during sentinel bouts) or unmanipulated (playback of its foraging close calls as a control). On returning to the sleeping refuge at the end of the day, focal individuals received more grooming following surveillance-call playback than control-call playback and more grooming than a matched individual whose sentinel contributions were not up-regulated. We believe our study therefore provides experimental evidence of delayed contingent cooperation in a wild nonprimate species.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(24), p. 6255-6260
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1091-6490
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060801 Animal Behaviour
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 310901 Animal behaviour
310301 Behavioural ecology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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