Why hide? Concealed sex in dominant Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps) in the wild

Autor(en): Ben Mocha, Yitzchak
Mundry, Roger
Pika, Simone 
Stichwörter: Arabian babbler; BEHAVIOR; Behavioral Sciences; Biomedical Social Sciences; BIRD; Birds; Concealed sex; Cooperation-Maintenance hypothesis; Cooperatively breeding species; GROUND-SQUIRRELS; Human sexual behaviour; Psychology; Psychology, Biological; Social Sciences, Biomedical; Tactical deception; TACTICS
Erscheinungsdatum: 2018
Herausgeber: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC
Journal: EVOLUTION AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Volumen: 39
Ausgabe: 6
Startseite: 575
Seitenende: 582
Zusammenfassung: 
Striking uniformity exists in humans' preference to conceal sexual activity from conspecifics' view. Yet, little is known about the selective pressures acting upon its evolution. To investigate this question, we studied the cooperatively breeding Arabian babbler (Turdoides squamiceps), which has been suggested being the only other species where dominant individuals conceal sex regularly. We examined whether birds indeed conceal sex and tested different hypotheses postulating that sex concealment functions to avoid predators, signal dominance status, or to avoid social interference. The results showed that the birds concealed sex in all observed cases of copulation, did not prefer to copulate under shelters and concealed mating solicitations from adult conspecifics. In addition, subordinates did not attack dominants who courted the respective female. Hence, none of the tested hypotheses explains these results satisfactorily. We postulate that dominant Arabian babblers conceal sex to maintain cooperation with those helpers they prevent from mating. Empirical desiderata for testing this `Cooperation-Maintenance' hypothesis are discussed.
ISSN: 10905138
DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.05.009

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