Social assemblages and mating relationships in prairie dogs: A DNA fingerprint analysis

Steven E. Travis, C. N. Slobodchikoff, Paul S Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mating system characterizations have been hindered by difficulties in accurately assigning parentage to offspring. We investigated the relationship between social assemblages and mating relationships in a territorial harem polygynous mammal, the Gunnison's prairie dog, using a combination of behavioral and molecular analyses. We demonstrate multiple paternity and an extraordinarily high incidence of extraterritorial fertilizations (i.e., 61% of all progeny), in combination with the existence of female kin groups. On this basis, we conclude that social assemblages alone provide a poor description of the Gunnison's prairie dog mating system, and suggest several potential reasons for the maintenance of territoriality in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996

Fingerprint

Cynomys
Sciuridae
DNA Fingerprinting
DNA fingerprinting
mating systems
reproductive strategy
prairie
Territoriality
harem
DNA
parentage
territoriality
paternity
Fertilization
Mammals
mammal
Maintenance
mammals
incidence
Incidence

Keywords

  • Cynomys gunnisoni
  • DNA fingerprinting
  • Kin group
  • Mating system
  • Paternity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Social assemblages and mating relationships in prairie dogs : A DNA fingerprint analysis. / Travis, Steven E.; Slobodchikoff, C. N.; Keim, Paul S.

In: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 03.1996, p. 95-100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Travis, Steven E. ; Slobodchikoff, C. N. ; Keim, Paul S. / Social assemblages and mating relationships in prairie dogs : A DNA fingerprint analysis. In: Behavioral Ecology. 1996 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 95-100.
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