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Friends and Relations: Kinship and the Nature of Female Elephant Social Relationships

Friends and Relations: Kinship and the Nature of Female Elephant Social Relationships

Chapter:
(p.238) Chapter 15 Friends and Relations: Kinship and the Nature of Female Elephant Social Relationships
Source:
The Amboseli Elephants
Author(s):
Elizabeth A. ArchieCynthia J. MossSusan C. Alberts
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226542263.003.0015

This chapter reviews the role that kinship plays in the spatial and social relationships that occur among adult female African elephants in Amboseli. First, it describes the range of genetic relationships that occur among adult females that live in the same family group. Long-term observations indicate that nearly all female elephants are matrilocal. The chapter then describes the correlation between kinship and the patterns of fission and fusion within families. The degree to which kin are predictably together in the same group determines the opportunities that individuals have to influence their indirect fitness. Next, the chapter moves beyond family-level association patterns and describes the degree to which kinship predicts fission and fusion between family groups across the population. Finally, it investigates whether kinship influences affiliative, cooperative, and competitive social relationships by first discussing whether female elephants seem to discriminate among affiliative and cooperative social partners on the basis of kinship and then investigating whether kinship predicts dominance-rank relationships.

Keywords:   kinship, female elephants, social relationship, African elephants, Amboseli, family groups, social partners

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