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Larger size and older age confer competitive advantage: dominance hierarchy within European vulture guild hierarchy within European vulture guild

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Moreno-Opo Díaz-Meco, Rubén and Trujillano, Ana and Margalida, Antoni (2020) Larger size and older age confer competitive advantage: dominance hierarchy within European vulture guild hierarchy within European vulture guild. Scientific reports, 10 (2430). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-59387-4



Abstract

Competition for limiting natural resources generates complex networks of relationships between individuals, both at the intra- and interspecifc levels, establishing hierarchical scenarios among diferent population groups. Within obligate scavengers, and especially in vultures, the coevolutionary mechanisms operating during carrion exploitation are highly specialized and determined in part by agonistic behavior resulting in intra-guild hierarchies. This paper revisits the behavioral and hierarchical organization within the guild of European vultures, on the basis of their agonistic activities during carrion exploitation. We used a dataset distilled from high-quality videorecordings of competitive interactions among the four European vulture species during feeding events. We found a despotic dominance gradient from the larger species to smaller ones, and from the adults to subadults and juveniles, following an age and body size-based linear pattern. The four studied species, and to some extent age classes, show despotic dominance and organization of their guild exerting diferential selection to diferent parts of the carrion. The abundance of these parts could ultimately condition the level of agonistic interactions. We discuss the behavioral organization and the relationship of hierarchies according to the feeding behavior and prey selection, by comparing with other scavenger guilds.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Vulture; Europe; Dominance hierarchy
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Birds
Medical sciences > Biology > Zoology
ID Code:59975
Deposited On:16 Apr 2020 14:41
Last Modified:17 Apr 2020 08:03

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