Agonistic interactions were recorded in a captive group of wolves (Canis lupus) for a period of 21 months. Seventy-five per cent of all interactions were accounted for by only 4 or less of a possible 28 pairs during any given period of the study. Several animals were involved in very few agonistic interactions, and in many relationships such interactions were absent. Patterns of agonistic interaction alone did not suggest social relationships or an overall social structure applicable to all group members, although some evidence of a dominance hierarchy was found. Patterns of agonistic interactions were shown to involve several independent dimensions in different relationships. Further details of an underlying social organization are likely to emerge only from long-term studies which examine several dimensions of, and the interrelations between, a wide range of social interactions.
- agonistic interaction,
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