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Beyond the One-Male Group

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image of Behaviour

Social systems are not necessarily equivalent to mating systems. Observation is prerequisite for control of one animal by another. It is not possible without extremely good visibility, which is rare. Nonetheless most social theories assume such control. Neither social position nor copulation guarantee paternity. It is important that biochemical tests provide certainty of paternity in as many studies as possible, so that assumptions about behavioural determinants of reproductive success can be tested. The function of fighting is discussed. Males spend more of their time cooperating than competing, and it is suggested that differences between these may not be so clear. To understand the behaviour of adult males it is necessary to consider behaviour throughout lifetimes, behaviour in all seasons, and behaviour throughout demes. Scepticism towards facile explanations is recommended.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology, University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720 U.S.A.


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