Title
Looking like mother makes mallard ducklings dominant over their siblings Looking like mother makes mallard ducklings dominant over their siblings
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Amsterdam ,
Subject
Psychology
Biology
Source (journal)
Behavioural processes: an international journal of comparative and physiological ethology. - Amsterdam
Volume/pages
83(2010) :1 , p. 127-129
ISSN
0376-6357
ISI
000274610000018
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Colour variation in time and space among animals may affect social relationships such as pairing and dominance interactions. For instance, some birds are naturally sensitive to leg colour, with some colours being more visible or attractive than others. The colour of the leg-rings used to mark birds may thus be related to behavioural and reproductive variables. Most studies have investigated this effect for adults during reproduction, but leg-ring colour may also affect the behaviour of young birds. We tested the potential effect of leg-ring colours on the within-brood dominance hierarchy of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings while each brood formed a stable and exclusive family unit with its mother. Ducklings did not acquire a within-brood dominance rank according to the colour of their own ring. This result suggests that mallards may not have a sensory bias for a given colouration. However, ducklings wearing a ring of the same colour as one of the two rings of their mother were dominant over their siblings. We discuss the potential behavioural and methodological implications of this result.
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