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Animal Social Networks$
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Jens Krause, Richard James, Daniel W. Franks, and Darren P. Croft

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.001.0001

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Linking lizards: social networks in reptiles

Linking lizards: social networks in reptiles

(p.197) Chapter 18 Linking lizards: social networks in reptiles
Animal Social Networks

Stephanie S. Godfrey

Oxford University Press

Despite their reputation of being unsociable, reptiles display a broad range of social behaviours and forms of social organization. They possess many of the mechanisms of sociality that are common to other more social taxonomic groups, such as communication (through olfactory and visual cues) and the recognition of kin and familiar individuals; in addition, many species display behavioural types and personality. Yet, social networks have had a relatively limited application to the study of reptile behavioural ecology. This chapter reviews how social networks can be used to understand the behavioural ecology of reptiles, from detecting and describing social organization, understanding the ultimate and proximate factors that shape social organization, and the consequences of social organization. It discusses the advantages and challenges of applying a network approach to the study of reptile behavioural ecology, and outlines methods of marking and tracking reptiles suitable to the development of social networks. The aim of this chapter is to highlight how a network approach can be used to improve our understanding of the behavioural ecology and evolution of social organization in reptiles, and how herpetological researchers can apply this method to their own study system.

Keywords:   personality, behavioural ecology, reptiles, marking, tracking

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