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Animal Social Networks$
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Jens Krause, Richard James, Daniel W. Franks, and Darren P. Croft

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.001.0001

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Networks of terrestrial ungulates: linking form and function

Networks of terrestrial ungulates: linking form and function

Chapter:
(p.184) Chapter 17 Networks of terrestrial ungulates: linking form and function
Source:
Animal Social Networks
Author(s):

Daniel I. Rubenstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.003.0017

Terrestrial hoofed mammals are ideal animals for examining how social networks can help visualize and quantitatively characterize the many societal variants that ungulates and their close relatives exhibit. The ecological determinants of ungulate social structures are well known, but many of the overarching types, when probed by social network analysis, reveal subtle and important variations on common themes. Network metrics, especially those incorporating temporal elements, help identify key structural features that differentiate societies and are now beginning to provide clues as to their functionality. Structural differences emerge because individuals vary by sex, reproductive state, social personality, and a variety of other phenotypic features. When faced with environmental challenges, no one network structure is best able to solve the range of problems posed by nature, but those that develop are typically ones that facilitate or hinder spreading processes tuned to particular conditions. Remotely gathered #amp;#x2018;big data#amp;#x2019; will continue to reveal important details about network structure, and some of these details are already showing that such societies are complex systems composed of many network types, sometimes layered in hierarchical tiers. As important details about social structure emerge, they will help link function to form and, in so doing, will help reveal ways in which social network analysis can be used to guide health, agricultural, and conservation interventions. Insights from wild equids, elephants, giraffes, and hyraxes, as well as captive and domestic ungulates, are helping to show the way.

Keywords:   social personality, spreading processes, hierarchical, ungulate, social network analysis

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