Baboon-like social structure creates efficiencies for spotted hyena

Mar 13, 2012

As large, carnivorous mammals, spotted hyenas are well known for their competitive nature; however, recent work suggests that their clan structure has similarities to some primate social systems such as those of the baboon and macaque.

San Diego Zoo Global researchers have documented relatedness between individuals and how this factor appears to influence their social behaviors.

"Understanding how animal social systems work is an important part of learning what we need to know to conserve them," said Russell Van Horn, researcher with the Institute for Conservation Research. "In the case of , understanding how they manage available resources can be very important as resources become less available due to human habitat encroachment."

The study, which was recently published in Molecular Ecology, shows that spotted hyenas show strong kinship relationships that are affected by resource reduction.

Explore further: Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

Provided by Zoological Society of San Diego

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hyenas' laughter signals deciphered

Mar 29, 2010

Acoustic analysis of the 'giggle' sound made by spotted hyenas has revealed that the animals' laughter encodes information about age, dominance and identity. Researchers writing in the open access journal ...

Females avoid incest by causing male relatives to leave home

Aug 15, 2007

Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany, have found that female hyenas avoid inbreeding with their male relatives by giving them little ...

Recommended for you

Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

20 hours ago

The "dog days of summer" are here, but don't let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Monkeys fear big cats less, eat more, with humans around

23 hours ago

Some Monkeys in South Africa have been found to regard field scientists as human shields against predators and why not if the alternative is death by leopard? The researchers found the monkeys felt far safer ...

User comments : 0