Skip to main content

Group hunting within the Carnivora: physiological, cognitive and environmental influences on strategy and cooperation

Abstract

Cooperative hunting is believed to have important implications for the evolution of sociality and advanced cognitive abilities. Variation in the level of hunt organisation amongst species and how their cognitive, behavioural and athletic adaptations may contribute to observed patterns of cooperative hunting behaviour, however, are poorly understood. We, therefore, reviewed the literature for evidence of different levels of hunt organisation and cooperation in carnivorans and examined their social and physical adaptations for hunting. Descriptions of group hunting were scarce for many species and often of insufficient detail for us to be able to classify the level of hunt organisation involved. However, despite this, reports of behaviour fitting the description of collaboration, the most advanced level of hunt organisation, were found in over half the carnivorans reported to hunt cooperatively. There was no evidence that this behaviour would require advanced cognitive abilities. However, there was some evidence that both social mechanisms reducing aggression between group members and information transfer amongst individuals may aid cooperative hunting. In general, the cooperative strategies used seemed to depend partly on the species’ locomotor abilities and habitat. There was some evidence that individuals take on consistent roles during cooperative hunts in some species, but it was not clear if this reflects individuals’ physical differences, social factors or life experiences. Better understanding of the social, cognitive and physical mechanisms underlying cooperative hunting, and indeed establishing to what degree it exists in the first instance, will require more data for multiple individuals and species over many hunts.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  • Anderson C, Franks RF (2001) Teams in animal societies. Behav Ecol 12:534–540

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Andersson K (2004) Elbow-joint morphology as a guide to forearm function and foraging behaviour in mammalian carnivores. Zool J Linn Soc 142:91–104

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Atwood TC, Gese EM, Kunkel KE (2007) Comparative patterns of predation by cougers and recolonizing wolves in Montana’s Madison Range. J Wildl Manag 71:1098–1106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aubin T, Jouventin P (2002) How to vocally identify kin in a crowd: the penguin model. Adv Stud Behav 31:243–277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aubin T, Jouventin P, Hildebrand C (2000) Penguins use the two-voice system to recognise each other. Proc R Soc Lond B 267:1081–1087

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Balme G, Hunter L, Slotow R (2007) Feeding habitat selection by hunting leopards Panthera pardus in a woodland savanna: prey catchability versus abundance. Anim Behav 74:589–598

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barash DP (1971) Cooperative hunting in lynx. J Mammal 52:480

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barnett BD (1978) Hunting behavior and food-babits of Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Am Zool 18:649–649

    Google Scholar 

  • Bateson P, Bradshaw EL (1997) Physiological effects of hunting red deer (Cervus elaphus). Proc R Soc Lond B 264:1707–1714

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bautista LM, Tinbergen J, Wiersma P, Kacelnik A (1998) Optimal foraging and beyond: how starlings cope with changes in food availability. Am Nat 152:543–561

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bednarz JC (1988) Cooperative hunting in Harris hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus). Science 239:1525–1527

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Benoit-Bird KJ, Au WWL (2009) Cooperative prey herding by the pelagic dolphin, Stenella longirostris. J Acoust Soc Am 125:125–137

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Biernaskie JM, Walker SC, Gegear RJ (2009) Bumblebees learn to forage like bayesians. Am Nat 174:413–423

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Biewener AA (1983) Allometry of quadrupedal locomotion—the scaling of duty factor, bone curvature and limb orientation to body size. J Exp Biol 105:147–171

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bininda-Emonds ORP, Gittleman JL, Purvis A (1999) Building large trees by combining phylogenetic information: a complete phylogeny of the extant Carnivora (Mammalia). Biol Rev 74:143–175

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bissett C, Bernard RTF (2007) Habitiat selection and feeding ecology of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in thicket vegetation: is the cheetah a savanna specialist? J Zool 271:310–317

    Google Scholar 

  • Boesch C, Boesch H (1989) Hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees in the Tai’ National Park. Am J Phys Anthropol 78:547–573

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brosnan SF, Bshary R (2010) Cooperation and deception: from evolution to mechanisms. Philos T R Soc B 365:2593–2598

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brosnan SF, Salwiczek L, Bshary R (2010) The interplay of cognition and cooperation. Philos T R Soc B 365:2699–2710

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bshary R, Bergmüller R (2008) Distinguishing four fundamental approaches to the evolution of helping. J Evol Biol 21:405–420

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buchanan JB (2010) Is simultaneous hunting in winter by Merlins cooperative? J Raptor Res 44:156–158

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carbone C, Du Toit JT, Gordon IJ (1997) Feeding success in African wild dogs: does kleptoparasitism by spotted hyenas influence hunting-group size? J Anim Ecol 66:318–326

    Google Scholar 

  • Caro TM (1980) Predatory behavior in domestic cat mothers. Behaviour 74:128–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Caro TM (1994) Cheetahs of the Sarengeti plains: group living in an asocial species. Wildlife behaviour and ecology. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Clutton-Brock T (2002) Behavioral ecology—breeding together: kin selection and mutualism in cooperative vertebrates. Science 296:69–72

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clutton-Brock T (2009) Cooperation between non-kin in animal societies. Nature 462:51–57

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clutton-Brock TH, Parker GA (1995) Punishment in animal societies. Nature 373:209–216

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clutton-Brock TH, Brotherton PNM, O’Riain MJ, Griffin AS, Gaynor D, Kansky R, Sharpe L, McIlrath GM (2001) Contributions to cooperative rearing in meerkats. Anim Behav 61:705–710

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cordoni G, Palagi E (2008) Reconciliation in wolves (Canis lupus): new evidence for a comparative perspective. Ethology 114:298–308

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Creel S, Creel NM (1995) Communal hunting and pack size in African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus. Anim Behav 50:1325–1339

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Creel S, Creel NM (2002) The African wild dog. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  • Day LM, Jayne BC (2007) Interspecific scaling of the morphology and posture of the limbs during the locomotion of cats (Felidae). J Exp Biol 210:642–654

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Waal FBM (2011) What is an animal emotion? Ann N Y Acad Sci 1224:191–206

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dechmann DKN, Heucke SL, Giuggioli L, Safi K, Voigt CC, Wikelski M (2009) Experimental evidence for group hunting via eavesdropping in echolocating bats. Proc R Soc Lond B 276:2721–2728

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dechmann DKN, Kranstauber B, Gibbs D, Wikelski M (2010) Group hunting-a reason for sociality in molossid bats? PLoS ONE 5:e9012

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Doolan SP, Macdonald DW (1999) Co-operative rearing by slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in the southern Kalahari. Ethology 105:851–866

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Drea CM, Carter AN (2009) Cooperative problem solving in a social carnivore. Anim Behav 78:967–977

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dunbar RIM, Shultz S (2010) Bondedness and sociality. Behaviour 147:775–803

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eaton RL (1969) Cooperative hunting by cheetahs and jackals and a theory of domestication of the dog. Mammalia 33:87–92

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Elliott JP, McTaggart CI, Holling CS (1977) Prey capture by the African lion. Can J Zool 55:1811–1828

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fichtel C, Kappeler PM (2011) Variation in the meaning of alarm calls in Verreaux’s and Coquerel’s sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi, P. coquereli). Int J Primatol 32:346–361

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Finarelli JA, Flynn JJ (2009) Brain-size evolution and sociality in Carnivora. P Natl Acad Sci USA 106:9345–9349

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fox MW (1970) A comparative study of development of facial expressions in canids—wolf, coyote and foxes. Behaviour 36:49–73

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frommolt KH (1999) Sidebands – facts and artefacts. Bioacoustics 10:219–224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frommolt KH, Gebler A (2004) Directionality of dog vocalizations. J Acoust Soc Am 116:561–565

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Furrer RD, Manser MB (2009) The evolution of urgency-based and functionally referential alarm calls in ground-dwelling species. Am Nat 173:400–410

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Garrison JSE, Gass CL (1999) Response of a traplining hummingbird to changes in nectar availability. Behav Ecol 10:714–725

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goldenberg F, Glanzl M, Henschel JR, Funk SM, Millesi E (2008) Gait choice in desert-living black-backed jackals. J Zool 275:124–129

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gonyea W, Ashworth R (1975) Form and function of retractile claws in felidae and other representative carnivorans. J Morphol 145:229–238

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grant J, Hopcraft C, Sinclair ARE, Packer C (2005) Planning for success: Serengeti lions seek prey accessibility rather than abundance. J Anim Ecol 74:559–566

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hare B, Tomasello M (2005) Human-like social skills in dogs? Trends Cogn Sci 9:439–444

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hare B, Melis AP, Woods V, Hastings S, Wrangham R (2007) Tolerance allows bonobos to outperform chimpanzees on a cooperative task. Curr Biol 17:619–623

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harrington FH, Asa CS (2003) Wolf communication. In: Mech DL, Boitani L (eds) Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartwig S (2005) Individual acoustic identification as a non-invasive conservation tool: an approach to the conservation of the African wild dog Lycaon pictus (Temminck, 1820). Bioacoustics 15:35–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Healy SD, Bacon IE, Haggis O, Harris AP, Kelley LA (2009) Explanations for variation in cognitive ability: behavioural ecology meets comparative cognition. Behav Process 80:288–294

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Henderson J, Hurly TA, Bateson M, Healy SD (2006) Timing in free-living rufous hummingbirds, Selasphorus rufus. Curr Biol 16:512–515

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hudson PE, Corr SA, Payne-Davis RC, Clancy SN, Lane E, Wilson AM (2011) Functional anatomy of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) forelimb. J Anat 218:375–385

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huey RB, Pianka ER (1981) Ecological consequences of foraging mode. Ecology 62:991–999

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huiling T, Wilson A (2011) Grip and limb force limits to turning performance in competition horses. Proc R Soc Lond B 278:2105–2111

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hyatt JP, Roy RR, Rugg S, Talmadge RJ (2010) Myosin heavy chain composition of tiger (Panthera tigris) and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) hindlimb muscles. J Exp Zool 313:45–57

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jindrich DL, Qiao M (2009) Maneuvers during legged locomotion. Chaos 19:026105

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kauffman MJ, Varley N, Smith DW, Stahler DR, MacNulty DR, Boyce MS (2007) Landscape heterogeneity shapes predation in a newly restored predator–prey system. Ecol Lett 10:690–700

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kileyworthington M (1976) Tail Movements of ungulates, canids and felids with particular reference to their causation and function as displays. Behaviour 56:69–114

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • King AJ, Cowlishaw G (2009) All together now: behavioural synchrony in baboons. Anim Behav 78:1381–1387

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kiriazis J, Slobodchikoff CN (2006) Perceptual specificity in the alarm calls of Gunnison’s prairie dogs. Behav Process 73:29–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kleiman DG, Eisenber JF (1973) Comparisons of canid and felid social-systems from an evolutionary perspective. Anim Behav 21:637–659

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kohn TA, Burroughs R, Hartman MJ, Noakes TD (2011) Fiber type and metabolic characteristics of lion (Panthera leo), caracal (Caracal caracal) and human skeletal muscle. Comp Biochem Physiol A 159:125–133

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Krebs JR, Davies NB (1987) An introduction to behavioural ecology, 2nd edn. Blackwell, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Lammers MO, Au WWL (2003) Directionallity in the whistles of Hawiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris): a signal feature to cue direction of movement? Mar Mammal Sci 19:249–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lengagne T, Lauga J, Aubin T (2001) Intra-syllabic acoustic signatures used by king penguins in parent–chick recognition: an experimental approach. J Exp Biol 204:663–672

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • MacDonald DW (1983) The ecology of carnivore social behaviour. Nature 301:379–384

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MacDonald DW (1996) Social behaviour of captive bush dogs (Speothos venaticus). J Zool 239:525–543

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McMorris T, Sproule J, Turner A, Hale BJ (2010) Acute, intermediate intensity exercise, and speed and accuracy in working memory tasks: a meta-analytical comparison of effects. Physiol Behav 102:421–428

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McNutt JW, Boggs LP (1996) Running wild: dispelling the myths of the African wild dog. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Meachen-Samuels J, Van Valkenburgh B (2009) Forelimb indicators of prey-size preference in the Felidae. J Morphol 270:729–744

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mech LD (1999) Alpha status, dominance, and division of labor in wolf packs. Can J Zool 77:1196–1203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mech LD (2007) Possible use of foresight, understanding, and planning by wolves hunting muskoxen. Arctic 60:145–149

    Google Scholar 

  • Mech DL, Boitani L (2003) Wolves: behaviour, ecology, and conservation. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller PJO (2002) Mixed-directionality of killer whale stereotyped calls: a direction of movement cue? Behav Ecol 52:262–270

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mills MGL (1989) The comparative behavioral ecology of hyenas: the importance of diet and food dispersion. In: Gittleman JL (ed) Carnivore behavior, ecology, and evolution. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, pp 125–142

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Mosser A, Packer C (2009) Group territoriality and the benefits of sociality in the African lion, Panthera leo. Anim Behav 78:359–370

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Munro C, Escobedo R, Spector L, Coppinger RP (2011) Wolf-pack (Canis lupus) hunting strategies emerge from simple rules in computational simulations. Behav Process 88:192–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Murray DL, Boutin S, O’Donoghue M (1995) Hunting behaviour of a sympatric felid and canid in relation to vegetation cover. Anim Behav 50:1203–1210

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Naug D, Arathi HS (2007) Sampling and decision rules used by honey bees in a foraging arena. Anim Cogn 10:117–124

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nawa A (1971) Tail and ear markings in felidae. J Mam Soc Japan 5:109–113

    Google Scholar 

  • Nowak MA (2006) Five rules for the evolution of cooperation. Science 314:1560–1563

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • O’Connor DE, Shine R (2006) Kin discrimination in the social lizard Egernia saxatilis (Scincidae). Behav Ecol 17:206–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ohashi K, Thomson JD (2005) Efficient harvesting of renewing resources. Behav Ecol 16:592–605

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Packer C, Pusey AE (1997) Divided we fall: cooperation among lions. Sci Am 276:52–59

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Packer C, Ruttan L (1988) The evolution of cooperative hunting. Am Nat 132:159–198

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Palagi E, Cordoni G (2009) Postconflict third-party affiliation in Canis lupus: do wolves share similarities with the great apes? Anim Behav 78:979–986

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Panksepp J (2011) Toward a cross-species neuroscientific understanding of the affective mind: do animals have emotional feelings? Am J Primatol 73:545–561

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Panzarasa P, Jennings NR, Norman TJ (2002) Formalizing collaborative decision-making and practical reasoning in multi-agent systems. J Logic Comput 12:55–117

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perez-Barberia FJ, Shultz S, Dunbar RIM (2007) Evidence for coevolution of sociality and relative brain size in three orders of mammals. Evolution 61:2811–2821

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Petak I (2010) Patterns of carnivores’ communication and potential significance for domestic dogs. Period Biol 112:127–132

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson RO, Ciucci P (2003) The wolf as a carnivore. In: Mech DL, Boitani L (eds) Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 66–80

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfleiderer M (1997) The “blinking” of felids. Zool Gart 67:364–374

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfleiderer M (1998) On the importance of fur markings around feline eyes. Zool Gart 68:187–197

    Google Scholar 

  • Pyke GH (1984) Optimal foraging theory—a critical review. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 15:523–575

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rasmussen GSA, Gusset M, Courchamp F, Macdonald DW (2008) Achilles’ heel of sociality revealed by energetic poverty trap in cursorial hunters. Am Nat 172:508–518

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rendell L, Fogarty L, Hoppitt JE, Morgan JH, Webster MM, Laland KN (2011) Cognitive culture: theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies. Trends Cogn Sci 15:68–76

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Robbins RL (2000) Vocal communication in free-ranging African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Behaviour 137:1271–1298

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roosevelt T, Heller E (1922) Life-histories of African game animals, vol 1. Scribner’s Sons, London, p 168

    Google Scholar 

  • Russell AP, Bryant HN (2001) Claw retraction and protraction in the Carnivora: the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) as an atypical felid. J Zool 254:67–76

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rutovskaya MV, Naidenko SV (2006) Sound communication of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx, Felidae). Byul Mosk Ob-va Ispytatelei Prirody Otd Biol 111:3–9

    Google Scholar 

  • Saunders KJ (1963) Food habits of the lynx in Newfoundland. J Wildl Manag 27:384–390

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schaller GB (1972) The Serengeti lion: a study of predator–prey relations. Wildlife behavior and ecology series. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Scheel D, Packer C (1991) Group hunting behaviour of lions: a search for cooperation. Anim Behav 41:697–709

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schenkel R (1967) Submission—its features and function in wolf and dog. Am Zool 7:319

    Google Scholar 

  • Shettleworth SJ (2001) Animal cognition and animal behaviour. Anim Behav 61:277–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shettleworth SJ, Krebs JR, Stephens DW, Gibbon J (1988) Tracking a fluctuation environment: a study of sampling. Anim Behav 36:87–105

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shubkina AV, Severtsov AS, Chepeleva KV (2010) Study of the hunting behavior of windhounds by means of GPS tracking: quantitative characteristics of prey search and coursing. Biol Bull 37:780–794

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sih A, Bell A, Johnson, JC (2004) Behavioral syndromes: an ecological and evolutionary overview. Trends Ecol Evol 19:372–378

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silva M (1998) Allometric scaling of body length: elastic or geometric similarity in mammalian design. J Mammal 79:20–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smallwood KS (1993) Mountain lion vocalizations and hunting behavior. Southwest Nat 38:65–67

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith JE, Kolowski JM, Graham KE, Dawes SE, Holekamp KE (2008) Social and ecological determinants of fission–fusion dynamics in the spotted hyaena. Anim Behav 76:619–636

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stander PE (1990) Notes on foraging habits of cheetah. S Afr J Wildl Res 20:130–132

    Google Scholar 

  • Stander PE (1992a) Cooperative hunting in lions: the role of the individual. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 29:445–454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stander PE (1992b) Foraging dynamics of lions in a semiarid environment. Can J Zool 70:8–21

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stephens DW, Krebs JR (1986) Foraging theory. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  • Stevens JR, Cushman FA, Hauser MD (2005) Evolving the psycological mechanisms for cooperation. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 36:499–518

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sumpter DJT (2006) The principles of collective animal behaviour. Philos T R Soc B:5–22

  • Sunsquist F, Sunsquist M (2002) The essence of cats. In: Sunsquist F, Sunsquist M (eds) Wild cats of the world. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Thibault I, Ouellet J (2005) Hunting behaviour of eastern coyotes in relation to vegetation cover, snow conditions, and hare distribution. Ecoscience 12:466–475

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tilson RL, Hamilton WJ (1984) Social dominance and feeding patterns of spotted hyaenas. Anim Behav 32:715–724

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tolkamp BJ, Emmans GC, Yearsley J, Kyriazakis I (2002) Optimization of short-term animal behaviour and the currency of time. Anim Behav 64:945–953

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trinkel M (2010) Prey selection and prey preferences of spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta in the Etosha National Park, Namibia. Ecol Res 25:413–417

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Usherwood JR, Stavrou M, Lowe JC, Roskilly K, Wilson AM (2011) Flying in a flock comes at a cost in pigeons. Nature 474:494–497

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valone TJ (1991) Bayesian and precient assessment: foraging with pre-harvest information. Anim Behav 41:569–577

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valone TJ (2006) Are animals capable of bayesian updating? An empirical review. Oikos 112:252–259

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • van OrsdoI KG (1984) Foraging behaviour and hunting success of lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Afr J Ecol 22:79–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vasquez RA, Grossi B, Marquez IN (2006) On the value of information: studying changes in patch assessment abilities through learning. Oikos 112:298–310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Venkataraman AB, Arumugam R, Sukumar R (1995) The foraging ecology of dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Mudumalai Sanctuary, southern India. J Zool 237:543–561

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Volodin IA, Volodin EV (2002) Biphonation as a prominent feature of the dhole Cuon alpinus sounds. Bioacoustics 13:105–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Volodin EV, Volodin IA, Isaeva IV, Unck C (2006a) Biphonation may function to enhance individual recognition in the dhole, Cuon aplinus. Ethology 112:815–825

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Volodin IA, Nagaylik MM, Voldin EV (2006b) Cues to orientation of a caller to a listener in biphonic and non-biphonic close range contact calls in the dhole (Cuon alpinus). Advances in Bioacoustics 2, Dissertationes Classis IV: Historia Naturalis, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Ljubljana) 47:245-255

  • Wahaj SA, Guse KR, Holekamp KE (2001) Reconciliation in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Ethology 107:1057–1074

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walsh PT, Hansell M, Borello WD, Healy SD (2010) Repeatability of nest morphology in African weaver birds. Biol Lett 6:149–151

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward PI, Enders MM (1985) Conflict and cooperation in the group feeding of the social spider Stegodyphyus mimosarum. Behaviour 94:167–182

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wickler W, Seibt U (1993) Pedogenetic sociogenesis via the ‘sibling-route’ and consequences for Stegodyphus spiders. Ethology 95:1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilden I, Herzel H, Peters G, Tembrock G (1998) Subharmonics, biphonation, and deterministic chaos in mammal vocalization. Bioacoustics 9:171–196

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Williams SB, Tan HL, Usherwood JR, Wilson AM (2009a) Pitch then power: limitations to acceleration in quadrupeds. Biol Lett 5:610–613

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Williams SB, Usherwood JR, Jespers K, Channon AJ, Wilson AM (2009b) Exploring the mechanical basis for acceleration: pelvic limb locomotor function during accelerations in racing greyhounds (Canis familiaris). J Exp Biol 212:550–565

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Williams TM, Dobson GP, Mathieu-Costello O, Morsbach D, Worley, MB (1997) Skeletal muscle histology and bio-chemistry of an elite sprinter, the African cheetah. J Comp Physiol B 167:527–535

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Woodroffe R, McNutt JW, Mills MGL (2004) African wild dog (Temminck, 1820). In: Sillerozubiri C, Hoffmann M, MacDonald DW (eds) Status survey and conservation action plan. Canids: foxes, wolves, jackals and dogs. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK pp 174–182

  • Yosef N, Yosef R (2010a) Theory-of-mind in brown-necked raven (Corvus rufficollis) and cooperative hunting on Egyptian mastigure (Uromastyx aegyptius). Isr J Ecol Evol 56:108–108

    Google Scholar 

  • Yosef R, Yosef N (2010b) Cooperative hunting in brown-necked raven (Corvus rufficollis) on Egyptian mastigure (Uromastyx aegyptius). J Ethol 28:385–388

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank our funding body, EPSRC, Timothy West, Andrew King, Philip Bacon, Anna Wilson and anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript and Buzz Holling for permission to use a redrawn version of Fig. 5b from Prey capture by the African lion, 1976, published in Canadian Zoology.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ida Bailey.

Additional information

Communicated by P. M. Kappeler

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Online Resource 1

A summary of non-carnivoran species for which there are published accounts of intra-specific cooperative hunting of a target prey individual by two or more hunters. This is not an exhaustive list and does not include anecdotal/unpublished accounts that exist for additional species (PDF 101 kb)

Online Resource 2

Examples of studies reporting cooperative hunting behaviour for all species of carnivore for which such accounts could be found. The behaviour in these studies is classified according to the level of organisation of the hunt. Where many examples of cooperative hunting were available for a species, examples were selected to show a range of levels of hunt organisation including the highest level demonstrated. Species are in order of phylogenetic relatedness (Bininda-Emonds et al. 1999), with families separated by dark lines (PDF 128 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bailey, I., Myatt, J.P. & Wilson, A.M. Group hunting within the Carnivora: physiological, cognitive and environmental influences on strategy and cooperation. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 67, 1–17 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-012-1423-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-012-1423-3

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Hunting
  • Carnivorans
  • Cognition
  • Locomotion
  • Sociality
  • Information transfer
  • GPS