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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