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The effect of stallions on social interactions in domestic and semi feral harems

By Sandra M. Granquist, Anna Gudrun Thorhallsdottir, Hrefna Sigurjonsdottir

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Abstract

Earlier research indicates that stallions may supress interactions of their harem members, leading to less stable hierarchies and friendship bonds in harems compared to non-stallion groups. In this paper, the effect of the presense of a stallion on the social behaviour of mares was studied by comparing six harems containing stallions to four mixed sex groups not containing stallions. Both temporary and permanent harems were studied, giving the possibility to investigate the effect of group stability on social interactions. A significant linear hierarchy was found in all non-stallion groups that were used for comparison, while the hierarchies were only found to be linear in three of the six harems containing stallions (Landaus h′, p

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 141
Issue 1
Pages 49-56
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.07.001
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Tags
  1. connections
  2. Hierarchy
  3. Horses
  4. Social behavior