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The relatedness structure of animal populations is thought to be a critically important factor underlying the evolution of mating systems and social behaviours. While previous work has shown that population structure is shaped by many biological processes, few studies have investigated how these factors vary over time. Consequently, we explored the(More)
In most animals, the sex that invests least in its offspring competes more intensely for access to the opposite sex and shows greater development of secondary sexual characters than the sex that invests most. However, in some mammals where females are the primary care-givers, females compete more frequently or intensely with each other than males. A(More)
In societies of cooperative vertebrates, individual differences in contributions to offspring care are commonly substantial. Recent attempts to explain the causes of this variation have focused on correlations between contributions to care and the protein hormone prolactin, or the steroid hormone testosterone. However, such studies have seldom considered(More)
In both animal and human societies, individuals may forego personal reproduction and provide care to the offspring of others. Studies aimed at investigating the adaptive nature of such cooperative breeding systems in vertebrates typically calculate helper 'fitness' from relationships of helper numbers and offspring survival to independence. The aim of this(More)
In species of cooperative insects that live in large groups, selection for increased fecundity has led to the evolution of an increased body size among female reproductives, but whether this is also true of cooperative vertebrates is unknown. Among vertebrates, morphological modification of female breeders has only been documented in a single species; in(More)
We investigated the origins and persistence of European pine marten (Martes martes) populations across the British Isles by identifying mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from contemporary populations (sampled since 1981) and comparing these with those of older ‘historical’ museum specimens (pre-1981) originally collected from the same geographic areas.(More)
Recent studies suggest that decisions to care for the offspring of others in societies of cooperative vertebrates may have a hormonal basis. The crucial question of whether changes in hormone levels immediately precede or merely follow bouts of offspring care, however, remains largely unanswered. Here, we show that in wild groups of cooperatively breeding(More)
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are reported to hunt with energetically costly long chase distances. We used high-resolution GPS and inertial technology to record 1,119 high-speed chases of all members of a pack of six adult African wild dogs in northern Botswana. Dogs performed multiple short, high-speed, mostly unsuccessful chases to capture prey, while(More)
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are described as highly collaborative endurance pursuit hunters based on observations derived primarily from the grass plains of East Africa. However, the remaining population of this endangered species mainly occupies mixed woodland savannah where hunting strategies appear to differ from those previously described. We used(More)
BACKGROUND Spacing patterns mediate competitive interactions between conspecifics, ultimately increasing fitness. The degree of territorial overlap between neighbouring African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) packs varies greatly, yet the role of factors potentially affecting the degree of overlap, such as relatedness and pack size, remain unclear. We used(More)