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dc.contributor.advisorCherry, M.I.
dc.contributor.advisorManser, M.B.
dc.contributor.authorJordan, Neil R. (Neil Robert)
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Botany and Zoology.en
dc.date.accessioned2012-05-07T14:08:12Z
dc.date.available2012-05-07T14:08:12Z
dc.date.issued2005-12
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20918
dc.descriptionThesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: Many territorial carnivores deposit faeces and other scent-marks at specific latrine sites, and their role in territorial defence is often assumed. However, recent empirical and theoretical work suggests that ultimate explanations of territoriality differ between the sexes. In this thesis, I investigate patterns of latrine-use in cooperatively breeding meerkats, Suricata suricatta. Meerkats exhibit high reproductive skew, and in such societies an individual’s optimal investment in territory defence and intruder deterrence will depend not only on its sex, but also its breeding status within the group. The spatial and temporal distribution of meerkat latrines reflects the diversity in intruder type. Shared latrine sites between neighbouring groups facilitate costeffective monitoring of predictable intruders and surrounding land tenure. In contrast, intruding transient groups and prospecting males are effectively intercepted by latrines concentrated in the core of the territories, close to refuges. This represents the optimal strategy, as meerkat territories are too large to allow effective scent-marking around their entire peripheries, and these intruders travel between refuges during intrusions. Temporal patterns of latrine-use suggest their importance in mate-defence. Latrine-use was correlated with encounters with prospecting males and oestrous periods of resident females, and reached a peak coinciding with the season of elevated dispersal and take-over events. Additionally, rather than cooperatively contributing to territorial defence, individuals participated selfishly at latrines. Males preferentially over-marked female scent-marks and scent-marked at significantly greater rates than females, which resulted in male-biased latrines that were unrepresentative of group composition. Although all individuals investigated female scent-marks for significantly longer than male scent-marks, females invested most, suggesting that intra-group monitoring is an important aspect of latrine visits for females. The deleterious effects of close inbreeding are well known, but regular dispersal in both sexes, and long dominance tenure, result in unfamiliar siblings having a high probability of encountering one another post-dispersal. As latrines are implicated in mate-defence, olfactory assessment of factors affecting mating decisions might be expected, but although individuals do recognise foreign faeces, discrimination does not appear to occur on the basis of kinship. Together, these findings have broad implications for our understanding of individual variation and sex differences in scent-marking behaviour and territoriality.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Baie territoriale karnivore deponeer faeces en ander reukmerke by spesifieke latrines en die latrines se rol in gebiedsverdediging word dikwels aangeneem. Onlangse empiriese en teoretiese werk stel egter voor dat die uiteindelike verduidelikings van territorialiteit verskil tussen die geslagte. In hierdie tesis ondersoek ek patrone van latrine-gebruik in samewerkend-broeiende meerkaaie (Suricata suricatta). Meerkaaie toon ‘n hoë graad van voorkeuraanwas en in sulke gemeenskappe sal ‘n individu se optimale belegging in gebiedsverdediging en indringer-verjaging nie net van sy/haar geslag afhang nie, maar ook van sy/ haar teelstatus in die groep. Die ruimtelike en temporale verspreiding van meerkat latrines weerspieël die verskeidenheid van indringertipes. Gedeelde latrine areas tussen naburige groepe help die kosteeffektiewe bestekopname van voorspelbare indringers en omringende landsbesetting aan. In kontras hiermee word tydelike groepe en geleentheidsoekende mannetjies effektiewelik voorgekeer deur latrines wat gekonsentreer is in gebiedskerne, naby aan skuilplekke. Dit verteenwoordig die optimale strategie, aangesien meerkat territoriums te groot is om effektiewe reukmerking van die hele grens toe te laat, en synde hierdie indringers tussen skuilplekke reis tydens invalle. Tydspatrone van latrine-gebruik dui die belangrikheid hiervan in paarmaat-beskerming aan. Latrinegebruik korreleer met ontmoetings met geleentheidsoekende mannetjies en die oestrus tydperk van inwonende wyfies, en bereik ‘n toppunt tydens die seisoen van verhoogde verspreiding en oornames. Ook sal individue selfsugtig deelneem by latrines eerder as om samewerkend by te dra tot gebiedsverdediging. Mannetjies verkies om vroulike reukmerke oor te merk en reukmerk teen ‘n beduidend hoër koers as wyfies, wat lei tot mannetjie-geneigde latrines wat nie verteenwoordigend is van die groepsamestelling nie. Alhoewel alle individue vroulike reukmerke beduidend langer as manlike reukmerke ondersoek, belê wyfies die meeste, wat daarop dui dat intragroep monitering ‘n belangrike aspek van latrine-besoeke is vir wyfies. Die nadelige effekte van sterk inteling is goed bekend, maar gereelde verspreiding in beide geslagte en lang dominante posisiehouding lei daartoe dat daar ‘n groot kans is vir onbekende nabye familielede om mekaar te ontmoet na verspreiding. Aangesien latrines ‘n rol speel in paarmaat-verdediging kan dit verwag word dat daar olfaktoriese beoordeling sal wees van faktore wat paringsbesluite beïnvloed, maar hoewel individue wel vreemdelinge se faeces herken, toon hulle geen onderskeidingsvermoë gebaseer op verwantskap nie. Saamgevoeg, het hierdie bevindinge wye implikasies vir ons begrip van individuele variasie en geslagsverskille in reukmerk-gedrag en terriorialiteit.af
dc.format.extentxi, 133 leaves : ill.
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
dc.subjectMeerkat -- Territorialityen_ZA
dc.subjectMeerkat -- Behavioren_ZA
dc.subjectTheses -- Zoologyen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertations -- Zoologyen_ZA
dc.titleMeerkat latrines : cooperation, competition and discriminationen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA


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