Abstract:Size, dominance and mating in No. Fur Seals

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 1 Sep 1995 12:36:41

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Subject: Abstract:Size, dominance and mating in No. Fur Seals
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Subj:	ABSTRACT -- Dominance, Size, & Mating Success
 
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Subject:      ABSTRACT -- Dominance, Size, & Mating Success
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Haley, Michael P., Charles J. Deutsch, and Burney J. Le Boeuf.  1994.
        Size, dominance and copulatory success in male northern
        elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris.
        Animal Behaviour  vol. 48 (no. 6, Dec): 1249-1260.
 
Abstract
 
        The relationship between size, dominance and copulatory success
was investigated in male northern elephant seals to determine the
importance of size in male intra-sexual competition for mates.  The study
was conducted over four breeding seasons at the Ano Nuevo rookery in
central California.  Mass was estimated using a photogrammetrical technique
in three seasons and measured directly in one.  Copulatory success was
positively correlated with size (mass and length).  This correlation was
mediated through the positive effect of size on dominance rank; variation
in arrival mass, for example, accounted for 29-44% of the variation in
dominance.  Copulatory success was positively correlated with dominance rank
for mid- to high-ranking males, but not for low-ranking males, which obtained
few copulations.  Copulatory success was not significantly correlated with
size when the effect of dominance was removed statistically. These results
support the hypothesis that male reproductive success in this species is
principally determined by dominance rank, which, in turn, is affected by
male size.  However, they also suggest that large size is just one of a
number of important factors that affect the outcome of male intra-sexual
competition and hence, reproductive success.
 
For reprints please write to:
Dr. Michael Haley
Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory
P. O. Box 35
Discovery Bay, St. Ann
Jamaica, West Indies
 
OR to:
Dr. Charles Deutsch
Sirenia Project
National Biological Service
412 NE 16th Ave., Rm. 250
Gainesville, Florida  32601  USA