The scratching–stress linkage has been demonstrated in monkeys and apes but never in strepsirrhines, either in the wild or in captivity. We analysed data collected on a 14-animal group of Eulemur fulvus in the Berenty forest (South Madagascar, March–July 2008). We applied a protocol (same weather conditions, time slot, social/activity context, forest quadrat, and subgroup formation) involving four conditions, under which we recorded the scratching response: predation attempt, reconciled conflict, non-reconciled conflict, and control. We found that the scratching–stress linkage remains valid in strepsirrhines. Scratching increased after predatory attacks by the hawk Polyboroides radiatus and intra-group aggressions and decreased after reconciliation, probably buffering post-conflict stress. Scratching negatively correlated with the linear hierarchy, but only in the absence of stressful events. Compared to aggressions, predation attempts induced a greater increase in scratching, with dominants showing the highest differential increase. Thus, scratching is sensitive to different kinds of homeostasis perturbation (predation/aggression) and does not simply provide all-or-nothing information. Following a theoretical framework based on previous cortisol analyses, we showed that scratching and hormonal data converge in indicating that the stress profile of a species is shaped by its social network features.

Scratching around stress: hierarchy and reconciliation make the difference in prosimians

PALAGI, ELISABETTA;
2011

Abstract

The scratching–stress linkage has been demonstrated in monkeys and apes but never in strepsirrhines, either in the wild or in captivity. We analysed data collected on a 14-animal group of Eulemur fulvus in the Berenty forest (South Madagascar, March–July 2008). We applied a protocol (same weather conditions, time slot, social/activity context, forest quadrat, and subgroup formation) involving four conditions, under which we recorded the scratching response: predation attempt, reconciled conflict, non-reconciled conflict, and control. We found that the scratching–stress linkage remains valid in strepsirrhines. Scratching increased after predatory attacks by the hawk Polyboroides radiatus and intra-group aggressions and decreased after reconciliation, probably buffering post-conflict stress. Scratching negatively correlated with the linear hierarchy, but only in the absence of stressful events. Compared to aggressions, predation attempts induced a greater increase in scratching, with dominants showing the highest differential increase. Thus, scratching is sensitive to different kinds of homeostasis perturbation (predation/aggression) and does not simply provide all-or-nothing information. Following a theoretical framework based on previous cortisol analyses, we showed that scratching and hormonal data converge in indicating that the stress profile of a species is shaped by its social network features.
Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, I.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/664080
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