Social behaviors within a group of captive female Hippopotamus amphibius
Abbreviated Journal Title
Social; Aggregations; Kin; Familiarity; Dominance; Hippopotamus; DOMINANCE HIERARCHIES; WILD ORANGUTANS; BENEFITS; ASSOCIATION; KINSHIP; COSTS; AGGREGATIONS; FAMILIARITY; FITNESS; CATTLE; Behavioral Sciences; Zoology
Grouping is known to occur in many species of mammals, and the structure of groups can range along a continuum from basic aggregations to complex social systems. Any social patterns that may occur within the group must be determined in order to understand the adaptive nature of the group. Female Hippopotamus amphibius are known to aggregate in the wild, but their social behaviors are still not understood. Our objective was to determine if captive female hippos display social structure within an aggregation by examining their interactions, and if kinship, familiarity, and dominance influence these interactions. Behavioral data, using continuous focal animal sampling and scan sampling, were collected on a group of captive female hippos housed at Disney's Animal Kingdom and were used to analyze their interactions, association patterns based on kinship and familiarity, and a dominance hierarchy. Our results support the hypothesis that hippos exhibit social patterns due to the attraction to particular individuals. There were more associations between kin than non-kin and also between individuals that were more familiar. Dominance patterns were also found among these hippos. These results may aid in the general understanding of hippopotamus behavior and provide a framework for future research.
Journal of Ethology
"Social behaviors within a group of captive female Hippopotamus amphibius" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 7004.