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Social and Sexual Behavior of the Rufous Elephant-Shrew (Elephantulus rufescens) in Captivity

Susan Lumpkin and Fred W. Koontz
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Feb., 1986), pp. 112-119
DOI: 10.2307/1381007
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1381007
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Social and Sexual Behavior of the Rufous Elephant-Shrew (Elephantulus rufescens) in Captivity
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Abstract

Sexual behavior, behavioral changes associated with the estrous cycle, and the behavioral effects of changing mates are described for the monogamous Elephantulus rufescens. Sexual interactions were brief and facilitated by familiarity between the male and female. Several features of sexual behavior differed from the typical conservative mammalian pattern. Except for sexual behaviors, the only dramatic behavioral change associated with the brief estrous period was an increase in vaginal marking by females that probably distributed a secretion containing a chemical signal of receptivity. There was also a decrease at estrus in female agonistic behavior toward males. New mates were readily accepted but there was a general increase in social behavior between newly paired males and females. Social and sexual behavior in elephant-shrews appears to be adapted to reducing predation risks.

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