Ontogenetic change in determinants of social network position in the spotted hyena
- 383 Downloads
Social development is crucial in the ontogeny of animals living in complex societies and has lasting consequences in adulthood. Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) live in fission-fusion societies as complex as those of cercopithecine primates. The social positions adult hyenas hold within their groups are complex and varied, but little is known about how those positons emerge and change over the course of development. Using social network analysis (SNA), we tested predictions of hypotheses suggesting that sex and dominance status affect the social network positions of young hyenas across three stages of ontogeny: (1) while living at the communal den, (2) den independent but pre-reproductive, and (3) early adulthood. By examining rates at which hyenas were found alone and their association networks, aggression networks, and affiliation networks, we observed striking changes in individuals’ network positions across ontogeny, as well as pronounced sex differences. With the exception of rates at which individuals were found alone, which increased over ontogeny, most social network position metrics decreased greatly from infancy to adulthood. However, females showed considerably more rank-related variation in this trajectory than did males. Overall, social rank had stronger effects on the development of social network positions in females than males. Thus, females and males have different social development trajectories that appear to prepare them for their different respective futures of integrating into their natal clan or dispersing to a new one.
Social development is difficult to study, particularly in long-lived gregarious mammals, so little is known about the variables shaping the emergence during ontogeny of social roles played by adults. We used social network analysis to investigate how sex and rank affect the social positions of maturing spotted hyenas as their positions change across ontogenetic development. Females develop more complex social positions than males early in life, with strategies that vary with their dominance status. Although males are just as well connected to group-mates as females when they are cubs, they generally disengage from the natal clan as they mature; males clearly do not disperse because they are aggressively expelled from their natal group. Our data suggest for the first time that social development appears to prepare females and males for their alternative futures of philopatry or dispersal.
KeywordsSpotted hyena Social network Social position Social development Ontogeny Social bonds
We thank the Kenyan National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation for permission to conduct this research and the Kenya Wildlife Service, Narok County Government and the Senior Warden of the Masai Mara National Reserve for assistance. We are indebted to all those who have contributed to long-term data collection on the Mara Hyena Project. Special thanks to T. Getty, L. Smale, J. Neal, and A. Wolfe for helpful comments along the way. We would also like to thank three very thoughtful anonymous reviewers for their comments. This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grants DEB1353110 and OISE1556407 to KEH, a Student Research Grant from the Animal Behavior Society to JWT, a Grant-in-Aid from the American Society of Mammalogists to JWT, and a Dissertation Continuation Fellowship to JWT from the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of Michigan State University and following all applicable guidelines in Kenya. Ethical approval for use of animals in this study was issued by Michigan State University under IACUC approval no. 05/11-110-00 on 22 August 2013.
- Butts CT (2015) Network: classes for relational data. https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/network/vignettes/networkVignette.pdf
- Campbell CJ, Fuentes A, MacKinnon K, Bearder SK, Stumpf RM (2011) Primates in perspective. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Fournier DA, Skaug HJ, Ancheta J, Ianelli J, Magnusson A, Maunder MN, Nielsen A, Sibert J (2012) AD Model Builder: using automatic differentiation for statistical inference of highly parameterized complex nonlinear models. Optim Method Softw 27(2):233–249. https://doi.org/10.1080/10556788.2011.597854 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hamede RK, Bashford J, McCallum H, Jones M (2009) Contact networks in a wild Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population: using social network analysis to reveal seasonal variability in social behaviour and its implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease. Ecol Lett 12(11):1147–1157. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01370.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hanneman RA, Riddle M (2005) Introduction to social network methods. University of California, RiversideGoogle Scholar
- Höner OP, Wachter B, Hofer H, Wilhelm K, Thierer D, Trillmich F, Burke T, East ML (2010) The fitness of dispersing spotted hyaena sons is influenced by maternal social status. Nat Commun 1:60–67Google Scholar
- Kruuk H (1972) The spotted hyena: a study of predation and social behavior. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- Mason WA (1968) Early social deprivation in nonhuman primates: implications for human behavior. In: Glass DS (ed) Environmental influences. Rockefeller University Press, New York, pp 70–101Google Scholar
- Massen JJM, Koski SE (2014) Chimps of a feather sit together: chimpanzee friendships are based on homophily in personality. Evol Hum Behav 35(1):1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.08.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McCowan B, Beisner BA, Capitanio JP, Jackson ME, Cameron AN, Seil S, Atwill ER, Hsieh F (2011) Network stability is a balancing act of personality, power, and conflict dynamics in rhesus macaque societies. PLoS One 6(8):e22350. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0022350 PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pinter-Wollman N, Hobson EA, Smith JE, Edelman AJ, Shizuka D, de Silva S, Waters JS, Prager SD, Sasaki T, Wittemyer G, Fewell J, McDonald DB (2014) The dynamics of animal social networks: analytical, conceptual, and theoretical advances. Behav Ecol 25(2):242–255. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/art047 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Skaug H, Fournier D, Bolker BM, Nielsen A, Magnusson A (2016) Generalized linear mixed models using AD model builder. https://rdrr.io/rforge/glmmADMB/
- Tanner JB, Zelditch ML, Lundrigan BL, Holekamp KE (2009) Ontogenetic change in skull morphology and mechanical advantage in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). J Morphol 271:353–365Google Scholar