Three chromosome forms of the mole rat, Spalax ehrenbergi, 2n = 52, 2n = 58 and 2n = 60 were studied in an especially designed apparatus which simulated a natural territorial situation by permitting the animal free movement into and out of its home cage. Observed were variables representing agonistic, conflict and territorial behaviour. The data were analysed by means of a Smallest Space Analysis, SSA-II, which gave a graphic portrayal of the interrelations of behaviour categories where differences between means of single traits had been of no significance. 2n = 52 animals were found to be 'losers' in encounters. 'Lose', 'win' and 'draw' could be characterized by specific behaviour patterns: each outcome of encounter was surrounded by a cluster of behaviour categories consisting of agonistic, conflict and territorial activities that characterized its region of the SSA space.
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Acknowledgments We thank Louis Guttman for indispensable advice on the data analyses. This study was supported by a grant from the Stiftung Volkswagenwerk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology