Article

Preferred neck-resting position predicts aggression in Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber)

Psychology Department, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Laterality (Impact Factor: 1.13). 08/2009; 15(6):629-38. DOI: 10.1080/13576500903081814
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

When flamingos rest, they typically lay their heads along their backs. In order to achieve this positioning they curve their necks to either the right or left of their midline. Previously we have shown both individual and flock-level laterality of preferred neck-resting direction, with most birds preferring to rest their necks to their right (Anderson, Williams, & O'Brien, 2009). As laterality has been shown to play a role in social cohesion (e.g., Rogers & Workman, 1989) and aggression (e.g., Vallortigara, Cozzutti, Tommasi, & Rogers, 2001), here we attempted to determine whether a flamingo's preferred neck-resting direction could be used to predict involvement in aggressive encounters. Results replicated the earlier flock-level preference for neck resting towards the right, and indicated that those flamingos preferring the left were more likely to be involved in aggressive encounters.

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    • "Stevens et al. (1992) suggested that egg losses in Chilean Flamingos were a result of intraspecific aggressive interactions at nesting mounds. Finally, Anderson et al. (2009) determined that preferred neck‐resting position predicts aggression in American Flamingos. Beyond these studies, aggressive conspecific interactions among captive flamingos and our understanding of how social interactions shift as individuals transition from nonbreeding to breeding status have gone largely unexplored. "
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