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Home range overlap, matrilineal and biparental kinship drive female associations in bottlenose dolphins

Frère, C.H., Krützen, M., Mann, J., Watson-Capps, J., Tsai, Y.J., Patterson, E.M., Connor, R., Bejder, L. and Sherwin, W.B. (2010) Home range overlap, matrilineal and biparental kinship drive female associations in bottlenose dolphins. Animal Behaviour, 80 (3). pp. 481-486.

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Few studies of kinship in mammalian societies have been able to consider the complex interactions between home range overlap, association patterns and kinship, which have created a critical gap in our understanding of social evolution. We investigated the association patterns of female bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops aduncus, in the eastern gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia and found that they depended upon the complex interplay of at least three factors: home range overlap, matrilineal kinship and biparental kinship. While home range overlap was positively correlated with female association patterns, preferred associations were found between females showing as little as 27% home range overlap, and some pairs showed avoidance despite 100% home range overlap. Furthermore, on average, both casual and preferred associations took place between females that were more closely biparentally related than expected by chance and this pattern varied depending upon whether or not pairs of females shared the same matriline.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2010 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
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