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Should I stay or should I go? How activity synchronization affects fission decisions

Busia, L, Schaffner, CM and Aureli, F (2022) Should I stay or should I go? How activity synchronization affects fission decisions. Biology Letters, 18 (1). ISSN 1744-9561

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Group-living animals need to deal with conflicting interests to maintain cohesion. When the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits, the group may (temporarily) split into two or more subgroups. Conflicting interests can concern what activity to pursue or the direction of travel. Temporary group separation is a common feature in species with a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics. We investigated the role activity synchronization played in fission decisions in a spider monkey group living in the Otoch Ma'ax Yetel Kooh Nature Reserve, Yucatan, Mexico. For 21 months, we recorded every fission event occurring in the followed subgroup, as well as the subgroup activity. We classified the activity as ‘synchronized’ when at least 75% of subgroup members performed the same activity (resting, foraging, socializing or travelling); otherwise, we classified it as ‘non-synchronized’. We found that fission events occurred more often when the activity was non-synchronized. In addition, when the activity was synchronized, fission events occurred more often when spider monkeys were travelling than when they were engaged in other subgroup activities. Our findings highlight the role of conflicting interests over the activity to pursue and travel direction in fission decisions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: The Royal Society
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2022 09:24
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2022 09:24
DOI or ID number: 10.1098/rsbl.2021.0410
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16203
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