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Title: Strongly bonded individuals prefer to forage together in cooperatively breeding dwarf mongoose groups
Contributor(s): Kern, Julie  (author)orcid ; Radford, Andrew N (author)
Publication Date: 2021-04-30
DOI: 10.1007/s00265-021-03025-0
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Abstract: In many social species, group members form strong social bonds. Such strong bonds are well-known to generate long-term fitness benefits, but they are also expected to influence short-term behavioural decisions. Here, we use field observations and an experimental manipulation to investigate whether variation in social-bond strength (as determined from grooming interactions) influences nearest-neighbour choices while foraging in wild dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula). Preferred grooming partnerships (PGPs), representing particularly strong bonds, were found predominately between male–female dyads but among a range of dominance-status dyads. When searching for food, dwarf mongooses with PGPs were more likely than expected by chance to forage close to a preferred grooming partner. Foraging near a strongly bonded groupmate might reduce the predation risk or increase foraging opportunities and the transfer of social information. In addition, there could be stress-reducing benefits, although our field experiment provided no evidence that nearest-neighbour preferences for strongly bonded groupmates were additionally favoured, or indeed disrupted, in the aftermath of a short-term stressful event. Investigating the potential influence of strong social bonds on short-term behavioural decisions with potential fitness consequences is important for our understanding of social interactions and cooperation.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, v.75, p. 1-12
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 1432-0762
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060801 Animal Behaviour
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 310901 Animal behaviour
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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