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Herd Structure, Leadership, Dominance and Site Attachment of the Camel, Camelus Dromedarius

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Social structure and relationships in a herd of captive camels were studied in Kenya. During day and night the herd split up irrespective of kinship. Partner preferences existed only in those camels who had previously been kept in a small group separated from the herd. Dominance relationships are anonymous with four levels: a) dominant breeding bulls, b) females and bachelors, c) subadults, and d) calves. No stable leadership was observed, but individual preferences in the walking order existed when the camels left and entered the enclosure. During the night most camels showed an amazing attachment to a particular resting site; in a new boma they used corresponding sites. During moon nights activity was greatly increased.


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Affiliations: 1: (Zoologisches Institut der Technischen Universität Braunschweig, Pockelsstr. 10a, D-3300 Braunschweig, Germany


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