Social Conflict Management in Primates: Is There a Case For Dolphins?
Gregarious animals face unavoidable conflicts of interest and thus therefore are likely to evolve behavioral mechanisms that allow them to manage conflict and thus maintain their social bonds. Multiple forms of conflict management characterize primates, but far less research has focused on dolphins, especially under natural conditions. Captive studies of dolphins have confirmed post-conflict reconciliation, a well-studied form of conflict management in primates. The fission–fusion nature of dolphin social systems, along with the vast home ranges of individuals, pose particular difficulties for the study of conflict management. Conflicts among male allies are likely to be a fruitful area for further research on conflict management, both because allies are valuable social partners and because they interact frequently over extended periods.
KeywordsAggression Alliance Conflict Conflict management Reconciliation Social organization
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