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Reconnaissance de la parentèle en fonction de la familiarité chez un mustélidé solitaire, le putois européen Mustela putorius [Kin recognition versus familiarity in a solitary mustelid, the European polecat Mustela putorius]

Abstract : The aim of this experimental study was to investigate kin discrimination in the polecat and to analyse the ontogeny of interactions. Juvenile polecats (ten males and nine females) had been raised under four distinct experimental conditions: 1, kin, familiar; 2, kin, unfamiliar; 3, non-kin, familiar; 4, non-kin, unfamiliar. During dyadic encounters between polecats in neutral enclosures, the number of positive (tolerance), negative (aggression), intermediate (intimidation), and neutral interactions (no direct interactions) were recorded at two different ages of the animals (50 and 70 days old). Male-male encounters were characterised by more aggressive behaviour than female-female ones. The proportion of these negative interactions increased with age, while the proportion of positive interactions decreased. Although aggressive behaviours varied among groups, the reaction did never differ with the kinship. Kin selection theory provides successful explanations for a wide range of phenomena, but our results suggest that multiple mechanisms running simultaneously might be involved in social behaviours. Familiarity clearly influenced the social behaviour of polecats and might be involved in a kin facilitation effect favouring interactions. Animals raised together demonstrated more positive and less negative interactions, so that, despite the individualistic way of life of the polecat, familiarisation may result in more tolerance, emphasising that solitary species may provide significant information on social life. Anyway, familiarisation in polecat may be regarded as a cognitive form of recognition.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01345357
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:17:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 4:08:04 PM

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Thierry Lodé. Reconnaissance de la parentèle en fonction de la familiarité chez un mustélidé solitaire, le putois européen Mustela putorius [Kin recognition versus familiarity in a solitary mustelid, the European polecat Mustela putorius]. Comptes Rendus Biologies, Elsevier Masson, 2008, 331 (3), ⟨10.1016/j.crvi.2007.12.006⟩. ⟨hal-01345357⟩

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