How animals stand together in times of need – just like people: threat of & # 39; war & # 39; of rival packs unites dwarf mangoes, study finds
- University of Bristol simulated the threat of an dwarf moongoose invasion
- Found that they were more prepared and acted as sentries and kept closer together
- Behavioral ecology Professor Andy Radford suggested that this was due to fear
Animals commit in response to potential threats such as humans, a study of dwarf mongoose groups has suggested.
Scientists from the University of Bristol wanted to study the idea that human societies work together more in times of war in the animal kingdom.
To do this, they simulated invasions of other Mongoose groups using conversation plays and faecal presentations.
The study showed that in response to these external border breaches, the group cared more and acted as sentries and forged closer together.
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Little geese gather together in response to territorial invasion such as human societies in times of war, a study has suggested. Depicted: a dwarf mongoose in the Edinburgh zoo
WHAT IS A DWARF MONGOOSE?
There are 34 different types of mongoose, ranging from the dwarf mongoose that is only 7 to 11 inches (18 to 28 cm) long, to the white-tailed mongoose that is about the size of a cat with a length of 21 to 28 inches (53 to 71 cm) )) long.
The dwarf mongoose is Africa's smallest carnivore and is found in the east and south of the central part of the continent. They live mainly in dry grassland and open forests and eat insects, small rodents and larvae.
They live in groups of up to 15 and the leader is the oldest woman. They are often found near termite mounds.
Amy Morris-Drake, doctoral student and lead author of the newspaper, said: “Much is known about the behavior that occurs when groups of the same kind actually interact with each other.
& # 39; We have, however, demonstrated that the threat of fighting between groups can lead to an increase in cooperation within the group, including greater care for group members and contributions to watch duty (acting as a guard).
The study also suggests that more research needs to be done into the impact of potential threats, and not just into actual fighting.
Andy Radford, professor of Behavioral Ecology and co-author, also from Bristol, added: & Experimental tests of the effects of out-group conflicts are extremely rare, especially in wild animals.
& # 39; By working with groups of dwarf mongoose habits accustomed to our near presence, we were able to collect detailed observations and perform experimental manipulations in natural conditions. & # 39;
The study by the University of Bristol showed that in response to these external border burglaries, the group cared more and acted as sentries and grew closer together. On the photo: a group of dwarf geese on a termite hill in Kenya
Professor Radford also said that the group may have been closer to each other due to higher anxiety levels.
The dwarf mongoose is Africa's smallest meat eater, weighing between 7 and 12 oz (210 and 350 g) and a length of 7 to 11 inches (18 to 28 cm).
They can be found in East and South Central Africa.
The full findings of the study were published in the journal Behavioral ecology.
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