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Observations of a free-ranging adult female dingo (Canis dingo) and littermates’ responses to the death of a pup

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by R Appleby, Bradley SmithBradley Smith, D Jones
In contrast to several species of cetaceans and primates, behavioural responses to dead conspecifics have rarely been reported in wild canids. Here we provide details of the responses of an adult female and littermates to a dying and subsequently dead pup, including what appeared to be four instances of transport of the deceased pup by the mother over a two-day period, one of which was directly observed and filmed. We tentatively propose that, in the absence of any evidence of consumption of the pup, its transport by the mother could be interpreted as care-giving behaviour emanating from an enduring mother–infant bond, in a similar vein to what has been suggested for several other species exhibiting such behaviour.

History

Volume

96

Start Page

42

End Page

46

Number of Pages

5

ISSN

0376-6357

Location

United Kingdom

Publisher

Elsevier

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Appleton Institute for Behavioural Sciences; Environmental Futures Centre; Not affiliated to a Research Institute;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Behavioural processes.