Title

Comparison of Aggression between Female Elephant Seals with Pups and without Pups towards Non-Filial Pups

Poster Number

38

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Richard Tenaza

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Our research tests the hypothesis that adult female elephant seals with pups are more aggressive toward strange (non-filial) pups than are females without pups. Working from video recordings of portions of the elephant seal colony, we will observe and tabulate behavior of equal numbers of both types of females toward non-filial pups, analyzing interactions one female at a time. This research was conducted in 2012 in two separate weekends at San Simian on January 21st and 22nd, and February 4th and 5th. It was observed that females were aggressive to non-filial pups through the behaviors of biting, chasing, and vocalizations. Our hypothesis states that females who have pups are more aggressive towards non-filial pups than are females without pups. The approach to sampling will be done through focal sampling female elephant seals with and without pups once an interaction with a non-filial pup presents itself. By sampling each female separately for ten minute intervals, the data can be used to quantify the amount of times a female exhibits aggressive behavior. Preliminary findings show that females who have pups are more prone to being aggressive towards non-filial pups.

Location

Grave Covell

Start Date

21-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2012 12:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Comparison of Aggression between Female Elephant Seals with Pups and without Pups towards Non-Filial Pups

Grave Covell

Our research tests the hypothesis that adult female elephant seals with pups are more aggressive toward strange (non-filial) pups than are females without pups. Working from video recordings of portions of the elephant seal colony, we will observe and tabulate behavior of equal numbers of both types of females toward non-filial pups, analyzing interactions one female at a time. This research was conducted in 2012 in two separate weekends at San Simian on January 21st and 22nd, and February 4th and 5th. It was observed that females were aggressive to non-filial pups through the behaviors of biting, chasing, and vocalizations. Our hypothesis states that females who have pups are more aggressive towards non-filial pups than are females without pups. The approach to sampling will be done through focal sampling female elephant seals with and without pups once an interaction with a non-filial pup presents itself. By sampling each female separately for ten minute intervals, the data can be used to quantify the amount of times a female exhibits aggressive behavior. Preliminary findings show that females who have pups are more prone to being aggressive towards non-filial pups.