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Patterns of Association among Female Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta)

Kay E. Holekamp, Susan M. Cooper, Catherine I. Katona, Nancy A. Berry, Laurence G. Frank and Laura Smale
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 78, No. 1 (Feb., 1997), pp. 55-64
DOI: 10.2307/1382638
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382638
Page Count: 10
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Patterns of Association among Female Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta)
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Abstract

We examined subgroup association patterns among adult female members of a clan of free-living spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and between adult females and their juvenile offspring during three consecutive stages of development of offspring. These stages represented the approximate periods of residence of offspring at the communal den, from 1 to 8 months of age, between leaving the communal den and weaning, from 8 to 14 months, and between weaning and reproductive maturity or dispersal, from 14 to 36 months of age. Mean association indices among adult female dyads varied with social rank, with the highest mean association index observed for the alpha female. Adult females associated more closely with their adult female kin than with unrelated adult females. Female kin from high-ranking matrilines associated more closely than did kin from lower-ranking matrilines. Within mother-offspring pairs, association patterns were strongly influenced by the mother's social rank during all three stages of development of offspring, with high-ranking mother-offspring dyads associating more tightly than low-ranking dyads at each stage. Mean mother-offspring association indices declined as offspring grew older, but we found no significant differences based on sex of offspring during any of the developmental stages examined.

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