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Animal Behaviour
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.58
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Number of Followers: 240  
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ISSN (Print) 0003-3472 - ISSN (Online) 1095-8282
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3206 journals]
  • Patterns and mechanisms for larval aggregation in carrion beetle Necrodes
           littoralis (Coleoptera: Silphidae)
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 162Author(s): Joanna Gruszka, Marta Krystkowiak-Kowalska, Katarzyna Frątczak-Łagiewska, Anna Mądra-Bielewicz, Damien Charabidze, Szymon Matuszewski
  • Scent-marking strategies of a solitary carnivore: boundary and road scent
           marking in the leopard
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Kasim Rafiq, Neil R. Jordan, Carlo Meloro, Alan M. Wilson, Matthew W. Hayward, Serge A. Wich, John W. McNuttScent marking, where individuals deposit signals on objects in the environment, is a common form of chemical signalling in mammals and is thought to play a critical role in maintaining social organization within wide-ranging, spatially dispersed populations. Senders, however, can incur scent-marking costs through mark production, time investment in patrolling and depositing/maintaining mark sites, and increased risk of detection by predators and prey. To mitigate these costs, senders can adapt spatial patterns of scent marking to increase the probabilities of their scent marks being encountered by intended receivers. Relatively little, however, is known of the spatial scent-marking placements of many wide-ranging carnivore species, with most studies focusing on scent mark form and function. Here, we used detailed observational data collected from over 7 years of following individual leopards, Panthera pardus, and high-resolution GPS radiocollar data to investigate the spatial placements of scent marks within a leopard population in northern Botswana. We found that male leopards within our study area had a boundary scent-marking strategy, investing more in maintaining marking sites in peripheral areas of their home range. We also found that leopards scent-marked over four times as frequently and investigated over three times as frequently when travelling on roads than when travelling along natural routes, suggesting that roads may function as key locations for olfactory information. Compared to leopards from less productive ecosystems, such as the Kalahari, our results (1) suggest that leopards can be highly flexible in their marking strategies, with strategies impacted by the surrounding environment, and (2) provide evidence that human modifications of the environment now play an important role in facilitating social cohesion within this solitary carnivore.
  • Konrad Lorenz on human degeneration and social decline: a chronic
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 February 2020Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Theodora J. KalikowThroughout his career, Konrad Lorenz, co-founder of ethology, extrapolated from animal behaviour to humans – especially concerning degeneration as a result of domestication – and then prescribed for the allegedly resulting ills of society. The descriptions were constant. Lorenz had observed that wild animals subjected to and bred in captivity often underwent various abnormal physical and behavioural changes, such as changes in stature and coloration, and also in instinctive behaviour patterns – mating, eating, raising young, and so on. He went on to posit that the same sorts of ‘degeneration’ of human individuals were due to overcrowding, race mixing, poor nutrition, overbreeding, etc. – any kind of human society being equated with captivity – and claimed that faults in human society arose from these sorts of individual degeneration effects. Then, of course, as a physician, he prescribed for how society might be cured. Since he came to scientific prominence during the Nazi era, there have been constant criticisms and accusations that Lorenz must have been a Nazi and that Nazi ideology underlay many of his ideas about humanity and ethology. The thesis of this paper is that Lorenz had accepted the truth of human degeneration and social decline before the rise of Nazism. While he adopted Nazi-type terminology, prescriptions and arguments during the early stages of his career (which coincided with the rise and fall of the Third Reich), he dropped them as soon as the end of World War II rendered them unacceptable. Thereafter Lorenz retained the belief in human degeneration and social decline, but chose other arguments and prescriptions based in part on popular theories of the day, e.g. capitalism, and later ecology.
  • Nestlings of the common cuckoo do not mimic begging calls of two closely
           related Acrocephalus hosts
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Peter Samaš, Klára Žabková, Tereza Petrusková, Petr Procházka, Milica Požgayová, Marcel HonzaNestlings of the obligate brood-parasitic common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus, use diverse signals to manipulate host parents into feeding them. Begging calls, one of the most prominent parent–offspring communication signals, have been suggested to differ between cuckoos parasitizing different host species but the call characteristics involved differ between studies. We studied nestling begging calls of the cuckoo and two closely related cuckoo hosts breeding in sympatry, the great reed warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, and the reed warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, to determine whether cuckoo nestlings adjust their begging calls according to the host species and if these calls vary with cuckoo age and sex. We found that begging calls of host nestlings differed markedly between species but there was no difference in the begging calls of cuckoo nestlings raised by great reed warblers and those raised by reed warblers. These results suggest that cuckoo nestlings do not adjust begging vocalizations to match host species but rather use general begging call features to solicit food. However, their call frequency band narrowed, syllable duration shortened and call rate tended to increase with increasing age. None of the begging call characteristics differed between the sexes. The rapid development of cuckoo begging call parameters during ontogeny suggests that any comparisons of begging calls of cuckoo nestlings raised by different host species must control for nestling age. Finally, some discordant conclusions of this and other studies emphasize how little we understand parasite–host communication.
  • Reproductive isolation following hybrid speciation in Mediterranean
           pipefish (Syngnathus spp.)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Florian N. Moser, Anthony B. WilsonThe development of reproductive isolation is a crucial step in the speciation process. Premating isolation is often implicated in traditional models of divergence with gene flow, but the evolution of reproductive isolating mechanisms has been poorly explored in species resulting from hybrid speciation. We investigated the mechanisms of reproductive isolation between two closely related Adriatic pipefish species, Syngnathus taenionotus and Syngnathus typhle, that show a complex genetic history consistent with introgressive hybridization. We studied the genetic mating system of S. taenionotus in situ, quantified differences in the reproductive behaviour of the two species and carried out a series of behavioural experiments aimed at identifying the factors responsible for the maintenance of species integrity in natural populations. We identified subtle differences in courtship behaviour between the two species and evidence of a preference for large mating partners in reproductive males of both species. Individual preferences were equivocal in conspecific–heterospecific preference trials, and S. typhle males were the only group that showed a significant preference for conspecifics. Reciprocal no-choice mating experiments resulted in a low frequency of heterospecific matings between S. typhle males and S. taenionotus females, all of which failed to produce viable offspring, indicating the presence of both strong premating and postmating isolation in this system. Our results suggest that the development of reproductive isolating mechanisms between species produced by homoploid hybridization may differ from that expected under standard models of divergence with gene flow.
  • Juvenile stress disrupts the development of an exploration–boldness
           behavioural syndrome in convict cichlid fish
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Brittany V. Hope, Kennedy L. Fjellner, Suzy C.P. Renn, Peter L. HurdEarly life experience may have lifelong influences on an individual's behaviour in ways that are either adaptive or maladaptive depending in part on whether these early experiences accurately foreshadowed conditions in later life. Stress coping style is one example of a suite of behaviours, or personality traits, that may be influenced by early exposure to stressful stimuli. Here we examine the effect of developmental stress exposure on behavioural syndromes in adult convict cichlids, Amatitlania nigrofasciata. We found that early life stress did not exert significant effects on personality traits in adulthood at the individual level, but that this stress exposure prevented the formation of an exploration–boldness syndrome that was present in the unstressed population. These results suggest that an exploration–boldness syndrome is present in this species in the absence of stress-related environmental constraints. However, greater plasticity may be selected for in response to early life cues that reflect high predator pressure.
  • Heterospecific song quality as social information for settlement
           decisions: an experimental approach in a wild bird
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Jennifer Morinay, Jukka T. Forsman, Blandine DoligezAssessing local habitat quality via social cues provided by conspecific or heterospecific individuals sharing the same needs is a widespread strategy of social information use for breeding habitat selection. However, gathering information about putative competitors may involve agonistic costs. The use of social cues reflecting local habitat quality acquired from a distance, such as acoustic cues, could therefore be favoured. Bird songs are conspicuous signals commonly assumed to reliably reflect producer quality, and thereby local site quality. Birds of various species have been shown to be attracted to breeding sites by conspecific and heterospecific songs, and to use conspecific song features as information on producer (and by extension habitat) quality. Whether they can do the same with heterospecific song features, and whether this depends on the individual's own phenotype and especially its competitive ability, remains unknown. We used a playback experiment in a wild population of collared flycatchers, Ficedula albicollis, a species known to eavesdrop on the presence and performance of dominant great tits, Parus major. We tested whether flycatchers, whose aggressiveness was experimentally assessed, preferred to settle near playback of a high-quality great tit song (i.e. song with large repertoire size, long strophes, high song rate), a low-quality great tit song or a chaffinch song (control). Among old females, aggressive ones preferred to settle near playback of high-quality tit song and avoided playback of low-quality tit song, while less aggressive females preferred to settle near playback of low-quality tit song. Male personality or age did not influence settlement decisions. This shows that collared flycatcher females use great tit song quality features as information for settlement decisions, although this depended on their own competitive ability and/or previous experience with great tit songs. Our study therefore further illustrates the complex condition-dependent use of heterospecific social information for breeding habitat selection.
  • Corrigendum to: Antipredator function of vigilance re-examined: vigilant
           birds delay escape. [Animal Behaviour, 156 (2019), 97–110]
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Kunter Tätte, Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo, Gábor Markó, Raivo Mänd, Anders Pape Møller
  • Geographically well-distributed citizen science data reveals range-wide
           variation in the chipping sparrow's simple song
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Abigail M. Searfoss, Wan-chun Liu, Nicole CreanzaGeographical variation has been widely studied in oscine songbirds, with particular attention paid to the interplay between variables associated with learned song and dispersal. While most field-based studies have focused on discrete dialects, analysing data from quickly growing citizen science libraries could uncover geographical patterns in species previously thought to exhibit random variation in song. Specifically, using citizen science birdsong databases, we test whether chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina, song is geographically structured on a continental scale. The chipping sparrow is a particularly well-suited species for this study, since individuals have a simple song of one repeated syllable, have only the beginning of their first breeding season to adjust their song before crystallization and have been shown to match their song to a nearby neighbour while establishing their first territory. If most chipping sparrows adopt a neighbour-matching strategy, we might expect local syllable similarity; in contrast, field studies have shown that local syllable diversity has been maintained over time. We analyse 820 individual recordings of the simple, yet diverse, song of chipping sparrows to assess whether long-range geographical patterns have formed despite this local song variation. We found significant correlations between song features and geographical distance, associated with longitude but not latitude: chipping sparrows in the eastern United States and Canada sing at a slower rate (fewer, longer syllables) than the western population. However, comparing individual syllable types between regions, we found diverse song types persist across this species’ range. To better contextualize our findings, we re-evaluate available genetic sequences of chipping sparrows to test for genetic differentiation between the eastern and western populations in which we found song differences. Our results suggest that there are two culturally distinct subpopulations of migratory chipping sparrows that are genetically indistinguishable using mitochondrial DNA, motivating future studies on migration patterns and additional sequencing of nuclear DNA.
  • Interaction of egg cortisol and offspring experience influences
           stress-related behaviour and physiology in lake sturgeon
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Lydia Wassink, Belinda Huerta, Weiming Li, Kim ScribnerQuantifying transgenerational effects of stress is important to predict outcomes of anthropogenic disturbances for wildlife species. Maternal stress can programme physiological and behavioural phenotypes in offspring, which may be maladaptive if maternal and offspring environments are mismatched. We investigated effects of a match and mismatch between egg cortisol and offspring stress levels in lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, using artificially elevated egg cortisol levels (simulating maternal stress) and a chronic unpredictable stress regime for offspring after hatch. Offspring cortisol levels were quantified at baseline and after an acute stressor. Multiple measures of offspring swimming activity were assessed in behaviour trials. Individuals that experienced elevated egg cortisol and high offspring stress exhibited a diminished cortisol response to an acute stressor, but responses varied among offspring from different families. Results suggest that the interaction between maternal and offspring experience may cue an offspring phenotype that is adaptive in high-stress conditions. Principal components analysis characterizing interindividual variation in offspring behavioural variables showed that treatment significantly affected multivariate offspring response along the PC1 axis (associated with inactivity), and both treatment and family significantly affected response along the PC2 axis (associated with shorter distance moved). The largest differences for PC1 occurred between the ‘mismatch’ treatments (high egg cortisol and low offspring stress exhibiting lower activity; low egg cortisol and high offspring stress exhibiting higher activity), indicating that the combination of egg cortisol and offspring stress is more important in determining offspring behaviour than is egg cortisol or offspring stress alone. Findings suggest that family effects, such as genetic components or maternal experience, may mediate how the interaction of maternal and offspring stress influences offspring physiological and behavioural outcomes, and indicate the need for further research into environmental factors experienced by females that influence how offspring respond to egg cortisol and early life stress.
  • Attention to social stimuli is modulated by sex and exposure time in
           tufted capuchin monkeys
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Gabriele Schino, Paola Carducci, Valentina TruppaThe dot probe task is an experimental procedure commonly used to study how animals (including humans) pay attention to different stimuli. In this study, we evaluated how different durations of image exposure modulate the response to this task and how male and female tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) respond to a dot probe presented immediately after different social stimuli. Subjects were shown pairs of images of unfamiliar conspecifics: a male versus a female or two individuals grooming versus two individuals not engaged in grooming (nongrooming). With shorter image exposures (250 ms) both sexes showed shorter response times to the dot probe after presentation of (i.e. biased their attention towards) images of unfamiliar males compared to females, and did not show any bias towards images of grooming compared to nongrooming. With longer image exposures (1000 ms) females biased their attention towards images of unfamiliar females, while males did not show any difference; in contrast, males biased their attention towards images of grooming compared to nongrooming, while females did not show any difference. We interpret these results as showing that responses to the dot probe task with different image exposures reflect different attentional phenomena, and that the two sexes differ in how social stimuli affect their attention.
  • Gone with the wind: effects of wind on honey bee visit rate and foraging
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Georgia Hennessy, Ciaran Harris, Charlotte Eaton, Paul Wright, Emily Jackson, Dave Goulson, Francis F.L.W. RatnieksWind is an important yet understudied environmental influence on foraging behaviour. We investigated the direct and indirect effects of wind on foraging worker honey bees, Apis mellifera. Bees were trained to an array of artificial flowers providing nectar rewards in a location sheltered from natural wind. To examine the direct effect, fans produced four different wind speeds between 0 and 3 m/s at three different flower spacings: 5 cm (flowers touching) and 10 cm and 20 cm (flowers not touching). To examine the indirect effect of wind moving flowers, flowers were moved 10 cm at three frequencies between 50 and 110 cycles/min at zero wind speed. We recorded the number of successful flower visits, time spent flying, search time on a flower and hesitancy to take off. Bees visited significantly fewer flowers with increasing wind speed which was caused by a significant increase in hesitancy to take off. This difference in flower visits between wind speeds was highest at the 20 cm spacing. Flower movement had no effect on foraging rate; however, there was a significant positive relationship between flower movement and the total time spent flying. This was counterbalanced by a significant reduction in time spent searching for the nectary after landing on a flower at the higher flower frequencies. Our results suggest that it is the direct effect of wind on hesitancy to take off that has the greatest effect on honey bee foraging rate.
  • Aposematic coloration of prey enhances memory retention in an agamid
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Yu-Wei Ko, Chen-Pan Liao, Rulon W. Clark, Jung-Ya Hsu, Hui-Yun Tseng, Wen-San HuangToxic or noxious prey often signal their unpalatability through aposematic coloration, and the evolution of aposematism has become a model system in evolutionary behaviour. Aposematic colours are not only easily recognized by predators, but, for many predators, aposematism enhances learning and memory retention. In this study, we used a visually oriented, insectivorous agamid lizard, Diploderma swinhonis, to test whether aposematic coloration enhances lizards’ ability to detect and remember distasteful prey. We exposed lizards to quinine-flavoured crickets, Gryllus bimaculatus, that were dyed with colours generally regarded as aposematic (red) and nonaposematic (green). After a single exposure, lizards readily learned to reject both red and green crickets, but in subsequent trials they were more hesitant to attack red than green ones. However, the lizards remembered both types of prey for up to 60 days and showed a similarly high rate of generalizing that aversion from coloured to noncoloured crickets. Our results demonstrate that visually hunting lizards exhibit nuanced patterns of learning and memory in foraging tasks and make ideal subjects for experimental work on aposematism.
  • Facilitative effects of social partners on Java sparrow activity
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Juan Zhang, Andrew J. King, Ines Fürtbauer, Yan-Wen Wang, Ya-Qi He, Zhi-Wei Zhang, Dong-Mei Wan, Jiang-Xia YinGroup-living animals can affect each other's behaviour, causing changes in the rate or type of behaviours performed (social facilitation), or convergence in behaviour to that displayed by the majority of neighbours (social conformity). Facilitation and conformity effects can act to reduce direct competition and/or enable social coordination, and the degree to which individuals can affect each other's behaviour can depend upon the identities and traits of those interacting. To investigate the effect of social partners on individual behaviour, we studied the activity of Java sparrows, Lonchura oryzivora, in three contexts (alone, in the presence of three males or in the presence of three females) and in two conditions (novel environment and novel object tests). A significant proportion of variation in bird activity across trials was attributed to variation among individuals, indicating a personality trait. However, activity varied systematically according to whether birds were tested alone or in the presence of companions. We found that irrespective of the focal bird's sex, individuals were more active in a social context than when alone, and this effect was greatest when focal birds were in the presence of male companions. Overall, our findings demonstrate facilitative effects of social partners on Java sparrow activity, and the magnitude of this effect depended on the sex of the companions. These results therefore support the hypothesis that social isolation causes behavioural inhibition (which may be caused by increased perception of risk), and future studies should carefully assess the need to consider the social context when studying personality and its ecological and evolutionary processes across different species and contexts.
  • Seismic noise influences brood size dynamics in a subterranean insect with
           biparental care
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: Animal Behaviour, Volume 161Author(s): Mia E. Phillips, Gabriela Chio, Carrie L. Hall, Hannah M. ter Hofstede, Daniel R. HowardAnthropogenic noise pollution is known to alter the behaviour of acoustically sensitive animals. Many animals also sense vibrations through solid substrates and use substrate-borne vibrations in conspecific communication. The effects of substrate-borne noise pollution, however, remain largely unknown. Here, we investigate the potential for seismic (soil-borne) noise to alter the reproductive behaviour of the burying beetle Nicrophorus marginatus, a species that breeds below the soil surface on vertebrate carcasses and provides biparental care to offspring. Nicrophorus marginatus beetles produce sound using stridulatory structures on the elytra and abdomen, but no ears have been identified in these beetles, suggesting that stridulation might function to produce substrate-borne signals. We examined the timing of stridulation during reproduction, measured neural responses of beetles to substrate-borne vibrations, and measured beetle reproduction in the presence and absence of seismic noise. We found that parental beetles stridulate throughout carcass preparation and the burial process and confirmed that adult beetles are sensitive to low-frequency seismic vibrations. Variables related to brood size were affected in treatments with seismic noise, with burying beetles producing smaller broods with lower total mass than those in control treatments, providing support for the hypothesis that substrate-borne noise may impose fitness costs for soil-dwelling animals. The precise mechanisms leading to reduced brood size remain unknown but may relate to disruption of seismic communication or inaccurate assessment of resource size. Additional investigations are required to understand the degree to which human-generated seismic noise in natural settings influences other edaphic species, and whether these behavioural impacts lead to shifts in edaphic community structure or function.
  • Multilevel societies facilitate infanticide avoidance through increased
           extrapair matings
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2020Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Xiao-Guang Qi, Cyril C. Grueter, Gu Fang, Peng-Zhen Huang, Jing Zhang, Yan-Mei Duan, Zhi-Pang Huang, Paul A. Garber, Bao-Guo LiIn mammals characterized by a mating system in which a single male monopolizes reproduction, infanticide is reported to occur following a male take-over, often resulting in females returning to oestrus more rapidly than if their infant has survived. However, over the course of a 17-year study of golden snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus roxellana, a polygynous colobine species, we found no behavioural or suspected evidence of infanticide. Based on social network and genetic analyses, we found that more than half of the infants were sired as a result of extrapair matings (EPMs). Female golden snub-nosed monkeys initiated EPMs with bachelor or neighbouring resident males. These were considered ‘sneaky’ copulations because they did not occur in the presence of the leader male of the female's one-male unit (OMU). We suggest that through a process of paternity confusion, females decreased the likelihood of infanticide after a male take-over. In contrast, in a group of the same species in which the number of bachelor males was artificially reduced, EPMs were infrequent and four cases of infanticide were observed, three of them following a male take-over. Golden snub-nosed monkeys reside in a large multilevel society that develops by the fusion of several independent OMUs to form a breeding band, which is characterized by increased social cohesion and intrasexual tolerance among leader males. Females play an active role in mate choice, and engage in a diverse set of mating tactics, including counterstrategies such as EPMs to avoid infanticide. These results offer new insights into the diversity of behavioural strategies facilitated by complex social structures in nonhuman primates, as well as other social mammals.
  • The history and impact of women in animal behaviour and the ABS: a North
           American perspective
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 January 2020Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Zuleyma Tang-MartínezIt has been argued that the influx of women into the fields of primatology and animal behaviour caused a transformation in conventional beliefs, particularly with regard to our understanding of male–female sexual dynamics and the role of females in animal societies. Women members of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) have played important roles in challenging the accepted wisdom in our field. Simultaneously, at least during the last 40 years, women have become an increasingly vibrant force within the ABS, including playing significant roles within the leadership of the society. As a result, animal behaviour represents a notable exception with regard to gender parity when compared to some other scientific disciplines. This paper examines the synergisms between the influx of women into animal behaviour and novel advances in the field. It also addresses questions debated by feminist scholars regarding the reasons and mechanisms for women's impacts and whether feminism is a factor in disciplinary transformations. Finally, it suggests the integration of women in animal behaviour provides a blueprint for inclusion of other groups under-represented in the sciences.
  • Bateman (1948): rise and fall of a paradigm'
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 January 2020Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Thierry HoquetIn 1948, British geneticist A. J. Bateman published in the journal Heredity the results of his experiments on the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Bateman hoped he was bringing evidence for the ‘greater dependence of males for their fertility on frequency of insemination’ (Bateman, 1948, Heredity, 2(3), p. 364), thus purportedly explaining ‘an undiscriminating eagerness in the males and a discriminating passivity in the females’ (p. 365). At first rather neglected, Bateman's results were increasingly cited in the 1970s, especially as Bateman had suggested that what he had discovered in Drosophila could also be applied to humans. However, throughout the years, criticisms of the paper accumulated to the point that biologists are now divided into two groups: those who praise Bateman as one of the founding fathers of the discipline of behavioural ecology, and those who claim his paper was fatally flawed. The present paper follows the ‘strange fate’ of Bateman's article: initially barely cited, the paper was ‘rediscovered’ by Robert Trivers in 1972 (Trivers, 1972, Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. G. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man: The Darwinian pivot, pp. 136–179, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers) and finally, the paper received numerous scathing critiques in more recent years, on a methodological and empirical basis.
  • Animal territoriality, property and access: a collaborative exchange
           between animal behaviour and the social sciences
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 January 2020Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Ambika Kamath, Ashton B. WesnerTerritoriality is central to animal behaviourists' understanding of many facets of animal behaviour, including resource acquisition, space use behaviour, communication and mating systems. However, the term itself, how it is conceptualized and defined, has long been nebulous and contentious. Here, we ask whether juxtaposing debates about territoriality from animal behaviour with parallel discussions of territoriality from the social sciences can offer a historically and sociologically informed path out of the conceptual gridlock in which animal territoriality has been located for decades. We delineate two key problems with territoriality identified in the animal behaviour literature: First, that it focuses on how animals are expected to behave rather than how they actually behave and, second, that it assumes rather than demonstrates the function of, and specific relationships among, individuals. We then link these problems to social scientists' theorizations of the difference between property and access: whereas property is focused on how people are expected to behave under juridical–legal rules governing resource use, access focuses on a wide array of means by which people actually access resources. We thus argue that longstanding problems with animal territoriality have arisen due to implicitly embedded notions of property and ownership. Our juxtaposition raises two further problems with territoriality: first, it unwarrantedly serves to attribute authority to individuals described as territory ‘owners’ and casts others (‘intruders’, ‘sneakers’) as transgressors and, second, conceiving of ownership is unfeasible in animal societies lacking the particular juridical–legal institutions that establish and enforce property rights. Instead, we advocate for an access-based approach that will obviate these problems. Ultimately, we argue that the theory of access, as developed in social science literatures on spatial and relational resource use, will allow for a fuller and more nuanced understanding of variation in animal behaviour than that afforded by current dominant notions of territoriality.
  • Ethology and animal behaviour in Latin America
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 December 2019Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Klaus Jaffe, Juan Carlos Correa, Zuleyma Tang-MartínezLatin America was fundamental in the intellectual formation of the founders of modern biology (e.g. Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Bates and William D. Hamilton), but these pioneers directed their findings primarily to a European audience. Only later did European ethological influence reach Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela. From there, the study of behaviour moved to Ecuador and Colombia; Brazilians and Mexicans were further influenced by networks of researchers from the U.S.A. Latin American contributions to ethology and animal behaviour are broadly visible, with a few important centres, especially in Brazil and Mexico. More recently, there also has been a Latin American scientific diaspora, mainly to Europe, U.S.A., Canada and Australia (among other countries), with many ethologists and behavioural scientists becoming active members of the Animal Behavior Society. Latin American scholars, both those who stayed in Latin America and those who are part of the diaspora, have made significant scientific advances, while also demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the development of science in Latin America. Information on the ethology of endemic Latin American species has provided some fundamental theoretical insights, which have also enhanced ethological knowledge.
  • Niko Tinbergen and questions of instinct
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 September 2019Source: Animal BehaviourAuthor(s): Colin BeerNiko Tinbergen characterized ethology as ‘the biological study of behaviour’ involving four kinds of question: causation, ontogeny, adaptive function and phyletic evolution (Tinbergen, 1963; Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 20, 410–433). He said the science should give equal attention to each and to their integration. This division was prefigured in his book The study of instinct (Tinbergen, 1951; Oxford University Press). The book offered a conception of instinct as a built-in motivational system analogous to a hydraulic mechanism. The assumption of innateness and the lack of physiological credibility of the instinct model met with adverse criticism, which Tinbergen conceded to a large extent. His later work concentrated on functional issues, which anticipated the direction dominating subsequent ethological studies. Nevertheless Tinbergen's four questions, and his insistence that they be given equal attention continue to present an agenda for ethological aspiration.
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