THE EFFECT OF A SUPRA-NORMAL THREAT STIMULUS ON THE GROWTH RATES AND DOMINANCE RELATIONSHIPS OF PAIRS OF MALE AND FEMALE GOLDEN HAMSTERS by A. P. PAYNE and H. H. SWANSON1) (Department of Anatomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England) Between intact animals of comparable age and experience, one of the main factors influencing success in aggressive encounters may be a difference in body weight. Pairs of animals have been tested in a neutral cage or test area over a limited time period and aggressive dominance by the heavier animal has been found in the laboratory mouse (UIIRICH, 1938) and golden hamster (MELTON, 1950; PAYNE & SwANSON, 1970). In social groups of Norwegian rats, BARNETT (1958, 1963) and CALHOUN (1949) also found body weight to be a major factor in winning fights, as did BRONSON (1964) in woodchuck groups. While the body weight of an individual may therefore relate to its likeli- hood of defeating, or being defeated by, an opponent, it is equally probable that aggressive success or defeat may itself influence body weight and growth. Mature animals have been reported as losing weight after defeat (e.g. BARNETT, 1963), and those animals most attacked are often those which also
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1972
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