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Szenczi P, Bánszegi O, Groó Z, Altbäcker V. Aggressive Behav. 2012; 38(4): 288-297.


Biological Research Station, Eötvös Loránd University, Göd, Hungary.


(Copyright © 2012, International Society for Research on Aggression, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the mound-building mouse (M. spicilegus) differ in their mating and social systems. The M. musculus is polygynous and females tend to breed cooperatively while M. spicilegus is known to be monogamous and famous for its unique cooperative behavior; the communal overwintering. Mus spicilegus is considered as a highly aggressive species in the genus Mus. In the present study, we attempted to analyze the development of aggressive and sociable behavior in these species and to discover how familiarity with the target moderates the development of sociable and aggressive behaviors and moderates the differences between the species. Dyadic social interaction tests in neutral cages were performed on 21-, 60-, and 120-day-old mice of both genders and both species. Each individual was tested against a sibling and an unfamiliar individual at all three ages. Our results showed that the development of aggressive and sociable behavior with age differed between the species and sexes; however, familiarity with the other mouse moderated the effect of species on aggression. At 21 days, both genders of M. spicilegus were more aggressive against strangers than siblings. This became true of both species at 60 days. When facing a stranger, both sexes of M. spicilegus were more aggressive than M. musculus at 120 days. However, when facing a sibling, neither gender of M. spicilegus was more agonistic than M. musculus, indicating that either kinship or early social experiences elicit tolerance. Aggr. Behav. 38:288-297, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Language: en


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