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Cooperation, control, and concession in meerkat groups.


Clutton-Brock, T H; Brotherton, P N; Russell, A F; O'Riain, M J; Gaynor, D; Kansky, R; Griffin, A; Manser, M; Sharpe, L; McIlrath, G M; Small, T; Moss, A; Monfort, S (2001). Cooperation, control, and concession in meerkat groups. Science, 291(5503):478-481.

Abstract

"Limited control" models of reproductive skew in cooperative societies suggest that the frequency of breeding by subordinates is determined by the outcome of power struggles with dominants. In contrast, "optimal skew" models suggest that dominants have full control of subordinate reproduction and allow subordinates to breed only when this serves to retain subordinates' assistance with rearing dominants' own litters. The results of our 7-year field study of cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, support the predictions of limited control models and provide no indication that dominant females grant reproductive concessions to subordinates to retain their assistance with future breeding attempts.

"Limited control" models of reproductive skew in cooperative societies suggest that the frequency of breeding by subordinates is determined by the outcome of power struggles with dominants. In contrast, "optimal skew" models suggest that dominants have full control of subordinate reproduction and allow subordinates to breed only when this serves to retain subordinates' assistance with rearing dominants' own litters. The results of our 7-year field study of cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, support the predictions of limited control models and provide no indication that dominant females grant reproductive concessions to subordinates to retain their assistance with future breeding attempts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2001
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
ISSN:0036-8075
Publisher DOI:10.1126/science.291.5503.478
PubMed ID:11161200

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