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Functions of post-conflict bystander affiliations toward aggressors and victims in bottlenose dolphins.
Chisato Yamamoto, Toshiaki Ishibashi, Nobuyuki Kashiwagi & Masao Amano 
Abstract

Post-conflict affiliations initiated by bystanders (bystander affiliation) toward aggressors or victims have been suggested to represent the function of conflict management in some social living species. However, the function of bystander affiliations toward aggressors and victims has not been examined in marine mammals. In the present study, we investigated the function of bystander affiliations to aggressors and victims in bottlenose dolphins: self-protection, the substitute of reconciliation, social facilitation and tension relief of opponents. These bystander affiliations did not reduce post-conflict attacks by former opponents against group members. Bystander affiliation to aggressors tended to be performed by a bystander who had an affiliative relationship with the aggressor but not with the victim. Bystander affiliation to victims also tended to be initiated by a bystander who had an affiliative relationship with the victim but not the aggressor and was close to former opponents at the end of aggressions. Affiliation among group members who stayed near former opponents during aggressions did not increase after aggressions compared to that under control conditions. Renewed aggressions between former opponents decreased after bystander affiliations in our previous study. Bystanders who showed social closeness to former opponents may initiate bystander affiliation toward their affiliative former opponents because they may feel emotion, such as anxiety and excitement, of former opponents. Bystander affiliation toward aggressors and victims may function as tension relief between former opponents. Bystanders of bottlenose dolphins, who may have a relaxed dominant style, might initiate post-conflict affiliation to affiliative individuals unaffected by the dominance relationships among them, unlike despotic species.
Bibliographic information

Yamamoto, C., Ishibashi, T., Kashiwagi, N., Amano, M. (2020). Functions of post-conflict bystander affiliations toward aggressors and victims in bottlenose dolphins. Scientific Reports, 10, 3776.

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60423-6
2020/03/03 Primate Research Institute