Natural selection and the communal rearing of pups in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)
- 637 Downloads
The contributions of adult (>18 months) and yearling (10–18 months) African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), to raising pups were quantified at eight natal dens, where pups remain for their first three months of life.
Adults between 2–6 years of age did most of the hunting, and the dominant male often made the first grab at fleeing prey. Yearlings contributed to the hunting but were reluctant to tackle large prey animals. Yearlings and breeding females had prior access to food. Yearlings and adults regurgitated comparable amounts of food, but in one pack watched at a time of food shortage, the yearlings failed to regurgitate and stole food from the pups.
Dominant dogs chased predators, especially spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) from the area of the den more frequently than other adults or yearlings chased predators. Mothers, particularly in the first six weeks post-partum, stayed and protected the pups when the pack hunted.
There is a positive, but non-significant correlation between the number of adult helpers and the number of pups raised. However, the sex ratio bias towards males at birth suggests that male helpers (which predominate) usually increase pup survivorship. The roles of direct and indirect selection in the evolution of the helping behavior are discussed. Indirect selection has probably played an important role in the unusual post-reproductive survival of males and their helping behavior.
KeywordsFood Shortage Comparable Amount Dominant Male Large Prey Indirect Selection
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Altmann J (1974) Observational study of behavior. Sampling methods. Behavior 49:227–267Google Scholar
- Brown JL (1972) Communal feeding of nestlings in the Mexican Jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina): interflock comparisons. Anim Behav 20:395–403Google Scholar
- Brown JL (1978) Avian communal breeding systems. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 9:123–155Google Scholar
- Brown JL (1980) Fitness in complex avian breeding systems. In: Markl H (ed) Evolution of social behavior: hypotheses and empirical tests. Verlag Chemie International, Deerfield Beach, FLGoogle Scholar
- Brown JL, Brown ER (1981) Kin Selection and individual selection in babblers. In: Alexander RD, Tinkle DW (eds) Natural selection and social, behavior: recent research and new theory. Chiron Press, Concord, MAGoogle Scholar
- Emlen ST (1978) Cooperative breeding. In: Krebs JR, Davies NB (eds) Behavioral ecology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, pp 245–281Google Scholar
- Fisher RA (1930) The genetical theory of natural selection. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Frame LH, Malcolm JR, Frame GW, Lawick H van (1979) Social organization of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) on the Serengeti Plains, Tanzania 1967–1978. Z Tierpsychol 50:225–249Google Scholar
- Gaston AJ (1973) The ecology and behavior of the long-tailed tit. Ibis 115:330–351Google Scholar
- Grimes LG (1976) The occurrence of cooperative breeding in African birds. Ostrich 46:1–15Google Scholar
- Harrington FH, Mech LD (1981) Patterns of home site attendance in two Minnesota wolf pack. In: Harrington FH, Paupet PC (eds) Wolves: behavior, ecology conservation. Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJGoogle Scholar
- Lawick H van (1970) Wild dogs. In: Lawick-Goodall H van, Lawick-Goodall J van (eds) Innocent killers. Collins, London, pp 49–101Google Scholar
- Lawick H van (1974) Solo, the story of an African wild dog. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
- Ligon JD, Ligon SH (1978) Communal breeding in wood hoopes as a case for reciprocity. Nature 276:496–498Google Scholar
- Malcolm JR (1980) Food caching in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). J Mammal 61:743–744Google Scholar
- Moehlman PD (1979) Jackal helpers and pup survival. Nature 277:383Google Scholar
- Murie A (1944) The wolves of Mt. McKinley. Fauna Natl Parks US Fauna Ser 5:1–238Google Scholar
- Rood JP (1974) Banded mongoose males guard young. Nature 248:176Google Scholar
- Rood JP (1978) Dwarf mongoose helpers at the den. Z Tierpsychol 48:277–287Google Scholar
- Rowley I (1976) Cooperative breeding in Australian birds. Proc Int Ornithol Congr 16:657–666Google Scholar
- Ryden H (1979) God's dog. Coward McCann and Geoghegan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Schenkel R (1967) Submission: its features and function in the wolf and the dog. Am Zool 7:319–329Google Scholar
- Siegel S (1956) Non-parametric statistics. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Sinclair ARE, Norton Griffiths M (1979) Serengeti: dynamics of an ecosystem. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- Stallcup JA, Woolfenden GE (1978) Family status and contributions to breeding by Florida scrub jays. Anim Behav 26:1144–1156Google Scholar
- Trivers RL, Hare H (1976) Haplodiploidy and the evolution of the social insects. Science 191:249–261Google Scholar
- Woolfenden GE (1975) Florida scrub jay helpers at the nest. Auk 92:1–15Google Scholar
- Woolfenden GE (1976) Cooperative breeding in American birds. Proc Int Ornithol Congr 16:674–684Google Scholar