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The effects of population density and sociality on scent marking in the yellow mongoose


Le Roux, A; Cherry, M I; Manser, M B (2008). The effects of population density and sociality on scent marking in the yellow mongoose. Journal of Zoology, 275(1):33-40.

Abstract

We investigated scent marking behaviour in the yellow mongoose Cynictis penicillata, focusing on a low-density population where all offspring dispersed upon reaching sexual maturity. Dominant males appeared to be the main territory defenders and demarcators, with offspring foraging and marking only near the territory cores. The cheek-marking rates of dominant males increased during the breeding season and may have been involved in olfactory mate guarding. We compared our low-density population with a high-density population displaying natal philopatry. The two populations differed markedly in terms of individual contributions to territorial marking, as subordinate group members in the low-density population performed almost no territorial marking or defence, but were the primary scent-markers and territory defenders in the high-density population. We discuss scent-marking distinctions between populations in the context of ecological and social differences.

Abstract

We investigated scent marking behaviour in the yellow mongoose Cynictis penicillata, focusing on a low-density population where all offspring dispersed upon reaching sexual maturity. Dominant males appeared to be the main territory defenders and demarcators, with offspring foraging and marking only near the territory cores. The cheek-marking rates of dominant males increased during the breeding season and may have been involved in olfactory mate guarding. We compared our low-density population with a high-density population displaying natal philopatry. The two populations differed markedly in terms of individual contributions to territorial marking, as subordinate group members in the low-density population performed almost no territorial marking or defence, but were the primary scent-markers and territory defenders in the high-density population. We discuss scent-marking distinctions between populations in the context of ecological and social differences.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:mate guarding, population density, scent marking, territory, yellow mongoose
Language:English
Date:May 2008
Deposited On:19 Aug 2008 11:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:24
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0952-8369
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2007.00404.x

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