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Journal Article

Spatial proximity among adult siblings in greylag geese (Anser anser): Evidence for female bonding?

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Frigerio, D., Weiß, B. M., & Kotrschal, K. (2001). Spatial proximity among adult siblings in greylag geese (Anser anser): Evidence for female bonding? Acta ethologica, 3(2), 121-125. doi:10.1007/s102110000028.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-10EE-D
By staying close to allies, individuals may enjoy benefits through social support. In the socially monogamous greylag goose (Anser anser), pair-partners, parents, and even human foster parents may provide social support, facilitating access to resources or reducing agonistic pressure. In the present work, we analysed the spatial distribution of individuals within a semi-feral flock of 120 greylag geese, which contained 23 adult sibling groups of 2–4 individuals from 2 to 12 years old. During resting periods we scored dyadic distances between 28 focal individuals of different social categories, their siblings and unrelated control individuals of the same age. Adult female siblings (i.e. those hatched in the same year and raised together) rested significantly closer to each other than to either their brothers or unrelated control individuals. We attribute this to social attraction rather than to just a common preference for the same resting site. Thus, kinship bonds as expressed by cohesion might persist into adulthood, at least in the females. We discuss the potential benefits of proximity between related individuals with regard to reduced social stress via social support.