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J. Zool., Lond. (2003) 260, 377389 C 2003 The Zoological Society of London Printed in the United Kingdom DOI:10.1017/S0952836903003832 Patterns of coalition formation and spatial association in a social
 

Summary: J. Zool., Lond. (2003) 260, 377­389 C 2003 The Zoological Society of London Printed in the United Kingdom DOI:10.1017/S0952836903003832
Patterns of coalition formation and spatial association in a social
carnivore, the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)
Marienne S. de Villiers, Philip R. K. Richardson and Albert S. van Jaarsveld*
Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
(Accepted 21 January 2003)
Abstract
In many social species, relationships within groups seem to be non-random but related to variables such as rank,
kinship or sexual attractiveness. The endangered African wild dog Lycaon pictus is a social carnivore that lives
in large, stable packs, and intra-pack associations might be expected to display similar patterns. We investigated
patterns of coalition formation (support during dominance interactions, and partnership interactions) and resting
associations between members of a captive pack of 19 wild dogs. The social organization of the captive pack was
similar to that of free-ranging packs in many respects. Polyadic (group) incidents of coalition support were also
observed in a free-ranging pack. Patterns of coalition formation in the captive pack were related to rank. Most
aggressive interactions involved high-ranking individuals (particularly the alpha, beta and third-ranking males) and
coalitionary support tended to reinforce the existing hierarchy. However, there was at least one example of support
influencing a successful rank challenge. Support was affected by potential risks and benefits, the latter including
dominance through association and revolutionary alliances. An even stronger pattern overlaid associations between
pack members: coalitions and resting associations were strongest between members of the same age­sex cohort,
and may have enabled the eventual dominance of younger pack members over adults. Among adults, coalitionary

  

Source: Altwegg, Res - Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology