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Author (up) Stanley, C.; Shultz, S. pdf  openurl
  Title Mummy’s Boys: Sex Differential Maternal Offspring Relationships in Semi-feral Horses Type Conference Article
  Year 2012 Publication Proceedings of the 2. International Equine Science Meeting Abbreviated Journal Proc. 2. Int. Equine. Sci. Mtg  
  Volume in press Issue Pages  
  Keywords dispersal, Equus ferus caballus, social, maternal investment  
  Abstract In polygynous species with high reproductive skew in males, mothers often show differential investment between sons and daughters; however consistent sex differential investment has not been found by previous studies in horses. We investigated sex differences in mother-offspring relationships in nutritionally independent sub-adult semi-feral Carneddau Welsh mountain ponies Equus ferus caballus. Mothers and their sub-adult sons had consistently closer relationships than mothers and daughters. Stronger affiliative bonds between mothers and sons were quantified by their maintenance of closer proximity, higher rates of affiliative interactions and more frequent suckling bouts. These measures of affiliation were temporally associated with higher aggression levels directed towards sub-adults by other band members, particularly stallions. We suggest that aggression may serve as the proximate mechanism driving male dispersal in feral horses and that the stronger mother-son bond signals an attempt to delay their dispersal, highlighting conflict within the band concerning dispersal timing. Since males become increasingly central within the band over time, with mature stallions requiring excellent social skills in order to both acquire and keep a band of mares, we propose that delaying colts' dispersal allows for further development of these skills in a relatively safe environment. This additional investment is expected to maximise their reproductive success. This study illustrates how social network theory can be used to quantify individuals' social experiences, contributing to a greater understanding of the evolution of group living. It also gives us further insight into the mechanisms underlying dispersal in wild and semi-wild horse populations and how conflict often arises when individual needs differ.  
  Corporate Author Stanley, C. Thesis  
  Publisher Xenophon Publishing Place of Publication Wald Editor Krueger, K.  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 978-3-9808134-26 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5530  
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