Evol Ecol Res 2: 871-883 (2000)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Winner and loser effects and the development of dominance relationships in young coyotes: An integration of data and theory

Marc Bekoff1 and Lee A. Dugatkin2

1Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0334 and 2Department of Biology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA

Address all correspondence to Marc Bekoff, 296 Canyonside Drive, Boulder, CO 80302, USA.
e-mail: bekoffm@spot.colorado.edu


Although it has been hypothesized that winner and loser effects may be important in the development of dominance hierarchies in diverse taxa, there are no studies of which we are aware that have investigated this idea for young mammals. In this study, we analysed winner and loser effects during the development of dominance relationships in three litters of young coyotes (Canis latrans). We found clear winner and loser effects that were rank-related. Highest-ranking (alpha) coyotes showed winner effects, lowest-ranking (omega) individuals showed loser effects, whereas there were no winner or loser effects for middle-ranking animals. We then modified Dugatkin’s model for winner and loser effects and the structure of dominance hierarchies and found a high level of congruence between the empirical data and the predictions of the model. Indeed, theory predicted a relationship between winner and loser effects and position in a hierarchy. We hope our results will serve as a heuristic for further comparative studies of these phenomena in diverse taxa.

Keywords: canids, carnivores, coyotes, development, dominance, winner–loser effects.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2000 Marc Bekoff. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.