Home range, social behavior, and dominance relationships in the African unstriped ground squirrel, Xerus rutilus

Journal of Mammalogy
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Abstract

A field study of home range, social behavior, and dominance relationships in the African unstriped ground squirrel, Xerus rutilus, was conducted in semi-arid bushland near Kibwezi, Kenya. Ground squirrels lived alone or in small groups in isolated burrow systems and had broadly overlapping home ranges. They were neither territorial or colonial. Home ranges were estimated by visual observation of marked animals and those of males were considerably larger (mean=7.01 hectares (ha); n=4) than those of females (mean=1.37 ha; n-6). A continuum of agonistic behavior ranging from threat to combat is described, although actual combat was rarely observed. Sexual behavior includes a stereotypical tail display by adult males. Dominance relationships, based on 542 observed encounters between marked individuals, include a consistent male dominance over females and a fairly constant linear hierarchy among all individuals with shared home ranges. Similarities in the behavior of African ground squirrels and tree squirrels (Sciurus) are discussed.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Home range, social behavior, and dominance relationships in the African unstriped ground squirrel, Xerus rutilus
Series title Journal of Mammalogy
DOI 10.2307/1379295
Volume 57
Issue 3
Year Published 1976
Language English
Publisher American Society of Mammalogists
Publisher location Provo, UT
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Mammalogy
First page 450
Last page 460
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