Temporal modification of social interactions in response to changing group demographics and offspring maturation in African lions (Panthera leo)
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 15:22 authored by Jacqui Kirk, Claudia A. F. Wascher
In group living animals, affiliative social interactions maintain cohesion between individuals. Involvement in these interactions is likely to differ between individuals, depending on their sex, age and life history stages. Here we investigated different social network measures to describe greeting interactions within two prides of captive- origin African lions (Panthera leo). We aimed to determine if the introduction of cubs to these prides altered the strength of greetings networks among female lions. We also tested if the strength of greeting interactions changed between the age classes as younger lions matured. We found that interactions amongst female lions decreased from the period before cubs were born (least square means [95% CIs] 15.3 [7.67–22.93]) compared to after their integration into a pride (5.63 [−1.99–13.26]χ21 = 210.03, p < 0.001). In contrast, greeting network strength increased as offspring matured, with adults directing more interactions towards younger lions from 30 months of age (12.89 [1.96–23.82]) compared to when offspring were cubs (−0.69 [−11.63–−10.24] χ210 = 156.03, p < 0.001). We suggest that social interactions between age classes may mediate recruitment and dispersal in lion prides.
Publication titleBehavioural Processes
- Accepted version