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Publications [#240163] of Christine M. Drea

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Refereed Publications

  1. Drea, CM; Frank, LG, The social complexity of spotted hyenas, in Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture, and Individualized Societies, edited by DeWaal, FBM; Tyack, PL, Animal Social Complexity (January, 2003), pp. 121-+, HARVARD UNIV PRESS, ISBN 0-674-00929-0 [Gateway.cgi]
    (last updated on 2019/07/18)

    This chapter focuses on the ‘social intelligence’ of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), as inferred by the manner in which they solve daily problems arising from behavioral interactions. For comparative purposes, we frame our review in the context of evolutionary models of primate intelligence. We begin with a presentation of spotted hyena natural history, underscoring some of this species’ unusual attributes, followed by a discussion of their life history variables, highlighting certain features shared with primates. The ensuing commentary on social organization and behavioral ecology centers on the balance between aggression and affiliation, and provides an account of various mechanisms that contribute toward maintaining group cohesion. Our final discussion of cooperative hunting and commuting addresses the cognitive implications of elaborate foraging strategies. Throughout, we consider aspects of the spotted hyena’s behavioral repertoire that reflect the complexity of social interaction and the capacity for individual storage and retrieval of information about a changing environment. We propose that current hypotheses relating life history variables, feeding ecology, and social complexity to the evolution of primate intelligence should be tested against other taxa in which species display similar attributes.

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