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Effects of previous interactions and sex on over-marking in meadow voles

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The effects of winning and losing on over-marking behaviour of mammals, a behaviour associated with competition, are not known. The current study tests the hypothesis that after having a staged dyadic encounter with a same-sex conspecific, individuals adjust the proportion of scent marks they use to over-mark the marks of same-sex conspecifics. Female meadow voles that won their encounter used a higher proportion of their marks to over-mark the marks of female conspecifics than did females that either lost their encounter, were evenly matched, unfamiliar, or had no previous paired encounter. Females that lost their encounter used a lower proportion of their marks to over-mark those of female conspecifics than did females that either won their encounter or females that were evenly matched, unfamiliar, or had no previous paired encounter. Females that were evenly matched, unfamiliar, or had no previous paired encounter used a similar percentage of marks to over-mark those of another female. Male meadow voles, however, independent of whether they won, lost, were evenly matched, unfamiliar, or had no previous paired encounter used a similar proportion of marks to over-mark those of male conspecifics. The role of over-marking and the effects of previous social experience are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, Ellington Hall, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA

10.1163/156853907781890913
/content/journals/10.1163/156853907781890913
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853907781890913
2007-10-01
2016-12-10

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