CetaceanSoc

CetaceanSoc - CS 143 * Animal Cognition Lecture 9: CETACEAN...

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CS 143 * Animal Cognition Lecture 9: CETACEAN SOCIAL BEHAVIOR Cetaceans are fundamentally, critically social – Given Ecological pressures, may be even moreso than Primates ! - Predation : 1Shark:1 Dolphin, Shark wins; 1 Shark: Multi-Dolphins, Dolphins win! - Feeding : Cetacean school can control/access resource (fish school) that one animal alone could not - Most species have no “home ground”, nest, roost etc – only each other . The “school” is all! Altruism = Any act that Benefits another, in which Cost to agent is greater than Benefit to agent - e.g. Alarm calls are “altruistic” since alarmer may attract predators to itself while protecting others - Most often performed between related individuals (per “ Kin Selection ”) - e.g. Newcomers to a primate troop less likely to alarm than long term resident w/kin in group - Similar results in ground squirrels, and other non-primates Reciprocal Altruism (see Trivers 1971) can occur between unrelated individuals provided the participants can be reasonably certain of being reciprocated later -This is most likely when the following conditions hold: - 1) Animals are long lived - 2) Animals live in coherent groups so will have repeated encounters - 3) Animals have cognitive ability to track who owes who currency ” relations (e.g. groom for aid) - i.e. Monitor status of “social contract” per ritualized signals, debt assessment, testing investment etc - Probably includes assessments of reputation – i.e. observe who good partner, who on fence, etc - 4) “ Cheaters ” (those who do not reciprocate) are detected and punished (“ sanctioned ”) - But note, definitive data for this hypothesis are difficult to generate ! - Determining “Cost”, “Benefit”, “Social Currency” not straightforward, esp over long time periods! - Nonetheless, presumed to be likely in animals that form coalitions or otherwise collaborate w/non-kin - Social Currency – Reciprocity can involve the exchange of a variety of “currencies” - Includes aid in agonism, cooperative feeding, co-vigilance for predators, etc. - As in primates, physical contact ) very important - In many dolphin species, currency also includes non-reproductive socio-sexual behavior - Including genital:genital, fin:genital, rostrum:genital, acoustic:genital contact etc… - In several dolphin species, seen in all age/gender combinations, in agonistic and affiliative contexts
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CetaceanSoc - CS 143 * Animal Cognition Lecture 9: CETACEAN...

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