Social mammals

Social mammals

Mammals that exhibit social behavior. This may be defined as any behavior stimulated by or acting upon another animal of the same species. In this broad sense, almost any animal which is capable of behavior is to some degree social. Even those animals which are completely sedentary, such as adult sponges and sea squirts, have a tendency to live in colonies and are social to that extent. Social reactions are occasionally given by species other than the animals' own; an example would be the relations between domestic animals and humans.

The postnatal development of each species is closely related to the social organization typical of the adults. Every highly social animal has a short period early in life when it readily forms attachments to any animal with which it has prolonged contact. The process of socialization begins almost immediately after birth in ungulates like the sheep, and the primary relationship is formed with the mother. In dogs and wolves the process does not begin until about 3 weeks of age, at a time when the mother is beginning to leave the pups. Consequently the strongest relationships are formed with litter mates, thus forming the foundation of a pack. Many rodents stay in the nest long after birth; primary relationships are therefore formed with nest mates. Young primates are typically surrounded by a group of their own kind, but because they are carried for long periods the first strong relationship tends to be with the mother.

Mammals may develop all types of social behavior to a high degree, but not necessarily in every species. Mammals have great capacities for learning and adaptation, which means that social relationships are often highly developed on the basis of learning and habit formation as well as on the basis of heredity and biological differences. The resulting societies tend to be malleable and variable within the same species and to show considerable evidence of cultural inheritance from one generation to the next. Mammalian societies have been completely described in relatively few forms, and new discoveries will probably reveal the existence of a greater variety of social organization.

Basic human social organization and behavior obviously differs from that of all other primates, although it is related to them. At the same time, the range of variability of human societies as seen in the nuclear family does not approach that in mammals as a whole. Human societies are characterized by the presence of all fundamental types of social behavior and social relationships rather than by extreme specialization. See Ethology, Human ecology, Reproductive behavior

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Regular tours are organised by operators in Oman to take locals and foreign nationals alike to see these highly social mammals frolicking in the water.
The pictures mask the suffering of the naturally social mammals taken from the wild when they are held in captivity and isolation.
This is in harmony with our evolved instinctive feelings, which we can observe in other social mammals as well.
"We wanted to know if this idea, called the 'social brain' hypothesis, applied to other social mammals, especially carnivores and, in particular, wild cats," says lead investigator Sharleen Sakai, Ph.D.
"Dolphins are social mammals and they tend to be seen in large groups.
Washington, Apr 24 ( ANI ): A new study has found that like many social mammals, ravens form different types of social relationships - they may be friends, kin, or partners and they also form strict dominance relations.
"The nub of it, the heart of it," she explained, "is the way play equips social mammals to grapple with an environment that is always changing.
Mammalogists have probably not emphasized the role of social parasitism in the evolution of behavior and social organization among social mammals because the pertinent models have been associated with the insect literature, invertebrate constructs that are rarely employed for the investigation of mammals.
Since the ears of social mammals are typically designed to perceive sounds made by fellow species members, the humanlike hearing of these ancient folk probably was accompanied by speech, contend Ignacio Martinez of the University of Alcala in Spain, and his colleagues in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
As highly social mammals, dolphins possess amazing communication skills - they use sound and body language to keep in touch with each other.
The highly social mammals are a mainstay of the Northwest tourist economy and their popularity has brought the orphaned orca's story into the limelight.
They are complex, intelligent social mammals and that carries with it a range of behaviour from the nice to the not so nice, just like in our own species.''