Scott, John P. Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.
Last reviewed:December 2020
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- Characteristics of mammals
- Behavioral capacities
- Development of social organization
- Process of socialization
- Social behavior of primates
- Mammalian society
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Mammals that exhibit social behavior. Social behavior may be defined as any behavior stimulated by or acting upon another animal of the same species. In this broad sense, almost any animal that is capable of behavior is social to some degree. Even those animals that are completely sedentary, such as adult sponges and sea squirts, have a tendency to live in colonies and are social to that extent. In particular, the members of the class Mammalia display remarkable degrees and instances of social behavior that have evolved over time; the term "social mammals" is thus used to describe these animals (Fig. 1). In addition, social reactions are occasionally given across species; an example would be the relations between domestic animals and humans. See also: Behavioral ecology; Domestication; Ethology; Mammalia; Social hierarchy; Sociobiology
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