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Author Murray, L.M.A.; Byrne, K.; DíEath, R.B. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Pair-bonding and companion recognition in domestic donkeys, <em>Equus asinus</em> Type Journal Article
  Year 2013 Publication Applied Animal Behaviour Science Abbreviated Journal Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.  
  Volume 143 Issue 1 Pages (down) 67-74  
  Keywords  
  Abstract Pair and social bonding has been documented in various taxa, where pair formations are often described as being driven by kinship or sexual motivation. However, pair-bonding between unrelated individuals where sexual motivation is not a factor is not well documented. Many social relationships and pair-bonds between members of a dyad are facilitated by each individual's ability to recognise their partner using cues which are characteristic of that particular individual. The aims of this study were i) to investigate the existence of pair-bonding in domestic donkeys and ii) to determine whether members of a dyad could recognise their companion during a Y-maze recognition test. Subjects were 55 unrelated donkeys (38 gelded males, 15 females) in seven groups of mixed or same sex, comprising 4?14 individuals. Spatial proximity (nearest-neighbour) was observed three times a day over a 22-day period. Using a simulation approach based on observed data to generate randomised nearest-neighbour matrices, the statistical significance of social relationships was estimated. Of these, 42 (79.2%) were involved in significantly (p<0.05) non-random nearest-neighbour relationships, most of which were reciprocal pair relationships. Based on the spatial data, 24 of the donkeys which had shown significant reciprocal nearest-neighbour preferences for one individual (companion) were then used in a Y-maze recognition test in which they were presented with a choice of their companion and either a familiar donkey from the same group or an unfamiliar donkey from a different group. Donkeys? spatial location in the Y-maze demonstrated a preference for their companion versus familiar (one sample Wilcoxon signed rank test, W=239, p=0.002) or unfamiliar donkeys (W=222, p=0.041). These results verify anecdotal evidence from donkey handlers that donkeys often form pair-bonds, and show that reciprocal social preference and recognition are the basis of these. Pair-bond formation and companionship among donkeys have potential implications for their management, husbandry and welfare.  
  Address  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Elsevier Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0168-1591 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.11.005 Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6149  
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