Kin discrimination in a macropod marsupial

D.T Blumstein*, Jodie G. Ardron, Christopher Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Differential treatment of kin is ubiquitous in social animals. Parents often behave preferentially towards their dependent offspring. Species in several taxa also bias behaviour towards non-descendent kin. This latter phenomenon has not been demonstrated in marsupials, which are reportedly less social than eutherian mammals. We report the first evidence of non-parental kin-biased behaviour in a macropodid marsupial. Experimental pairing of individuals based on kinship reliably altered the rate of aggression between individuals in pairs of female tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii). This effect is probably attributable to relatedness rather than to familiarity. Marsupial sociality may be substantially more complex than is currently recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-823
Number of pages9
JournalEthology
Volume108
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

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