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Social Structure: stability/instability. WFSC 422 Ethology Presentation 6.1. Dr. Jane M. Packard, WFSC TAMU [email protected] Territories vs. dominance. Territories Intense combat between SEVERAL groups defense of space- group home range group access to resources Dominance

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Social structure stability instability l.jpg

Social Structure: stability/instability

WFSC 422 Ethology

Presentation 6.1

Dr. Jane M. Packard, WFSC TAMU [email protected]


Territories vs dominance l.jpg
Territories vs. dominance

  • Territories

    • Intense combat between SEVERAL groups

    • defense of space- group home range

    • group access to resources

  • Dominance

    • Minor conflict among individuals in ONE group

    • defense of personal distance

    • individual access to resources



Swans in group out group l.jpg
Swans- “in group” “out group”

  • In group- stable hierarchy

    • family- parents & offspring

    • no turnover in membership

    • each learns what to expect from others

  • Out group- contest of strength

    • family groups gather on lake during migration

    • contests between families over resources

    • bigger, stronger families win over singles & smaller families


Social structure 3 hypotheses l.jpg
Social Structure- 3 hypotheses

  • In stable groups, conflict is predictable

    • e.g. pecking order in chickens

  • In unstable groups, conflict depends on friends & rivals

    • e.g. appeasement & grooming in baboons

  • In social insects, castes are fixed (nutrition)

    • no conflict e.g. Leaf cutter ants



Stable chicken peck order l.jpg
Stable- chicken “peck order”

  • Alpha- 1 hen pecks all others

  • beta- “second in command”

    • pecked by alpha

    • pecks all others

  • omega- “bottom of hierarchy”

    • pecked by all others

    • does not peck back

  • stability depends on order of entry into group- younger new ones are pecked


Unstable baboons open group l.jpg
Unstable- baboons (open group)



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Baboons- age affects stability

  • Females

    • youngest daughter supported by mother

    • older daughters drop in rank

  • males

    • leave mother’s group, enter a new group

    • form alliance with females, appease males

    • rise in rank as older males weaken or die




Ant castes hard wired roles l.jpg
Ant castes- “hard wired roles”

  • Diploid (fertilized)- females

    • largest- reproductive queen

    • large- soldiers

    • small- workers (brood care, foragers)

    • dependent on nutrition at a critical stage of development

  • haploid (unfertilized)- males

    • produced near the end of queen’s life

    • mate (3-4 with one queen), then die


Summary l.jpg
SUMMARY

  • Distinguish between out-group intense combat (e.g. defense of territory) and in-group mild conflict (e.g. hierarchy)

  • 3 hypotheses of social structure

    • Stable groups => predictable conflict

    • Unstable groups=> friends & rivals change

    • Social insects=> castes fixed by nutrition


Action items l.jpg
Action Items

  • Do answers for Q6.1, Q6.2

  • Search idealibrary for “social structure”

  • Search Animal Behavior for “dominance”, “hierarchy”

  • Post examples and sources on WebCT Discussion for Unit 6


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