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The striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) from the succulent karoo, South Africa: a territorial group-living solitary forager with communal breeding and helpers at the nest.

Ecophysiological Studies Research Group, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Journal of Comparative Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.89). 04/2004; 118(1):37-47. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7036.118.1.37
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors studied the striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) in the semiarid succulent karoo of South Africa. Mice forage alone, but they live in groups that share a common nest. Groups consist of 1 to 4 breeding females, 1 to 2 breeding males, and their offspring of both sexes, which remain in their natal group even after reaching adulthood, participating in territorial defense and nest building without showing signs of reproductive activity. Interactions are typically amicable and take place inside or in front of the nest. In contrast, encounters with mice from other groups are aggressive. Group living in the succulent karoo is possibly due to ecological constraints imposed by habitat saturation because of a year-round stable food supply as well as associated benefits of philopatry.

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