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Part XXII: The Interdependence of Living Things : Social Behaviour of Animals Index

Interdependence of Living Things : Introduction
Groups which show social behaviour I :
Lions, African Hunting Dogs and Baboons

Social Insects : Bees
Social Insects : Ants
Social Insects : Termites
In conclusion
Chapter Summary (useful for revision)
Questions relating to this chapter

Topic Chapters Index

 

Pack of Wolves, Thoiry, France  © Shirley Burchill

Pack of Wolves, Thoiry, France

 

Hippopotamuses, Thoiry, France  © Shirley Burchill

Hippopotamuses, Thoiry, France

 

Elephants, Kenya © Shirley Burchill

Elephants, Kenya

THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF LIVING THINGS

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Wolves

The wolf pack is organised very much like that of the African hunting dog. There is one difference, however, in the way in which the puppies feed. The wolf puppies do not eat with the adults. The adults tend to eat a lot, and later, the puppies lick the adults' mouths. This causes the adults to regurgitate some of the meat which the puppies can then eat.

 

Hippopotamuses

A hippopotamus herd shows a certain amount of social organisation. The herd can be between 20 to 100 animals strong. During the day, the herd spends much of its time in the water. The females and young stay in the centre and the males place themselves around the outside. At night, when they go to feed, each hippo marks its own feeding path with faeces and urine. The males fight with each other at breeding time.

 

Elephants

Elephants live in family groups. The adults are all related females with their young; one female leads the group. The males live more solitary lives, only inter-acting with a group of females for mating purposes. Some younger males, however, may follow a family group at a distance. The young are protected by the family group and are sometimes allowed to suckle other females instead of their mothers.

 

YouTube © BBC Earth Uploaded on Jun 6, 2011
Dung-Cam captures fascinating footage of a new born calf and its baptism of fire as it faces the frustrations of a fully grown male.

Elephants communicate by changes in position and posture. Also, the way in which an elephant holds its head, ears, trunk or tail will convey messages, intentions or emotions to other members of the herd. The normal method of greeting between elephants is touching the mouth of the other elephant with the tip of the trunk.

 

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