Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Long-time Chimp & See participants will know that we have seen a LOT of duikers on the camera trap videos.  Bush duikers, bay duikersJentink's duikers, zebra duikers, black duikers, yellow-backed duikers -- the list just keeps going!  Sometimes it can feel like they're all basically the same animal in a larger/smaller/differently colored package.  But one noticeable difference -- and the reason for this Valentine's themed blog post -- is that Maxwell's duikers and blue duikers (two closely related species together classified as "small grey duikers" on C&S) have strong pair bonds and are often seen together in mated pairs on video, unlike our other duiker species.  One previous study found 75% of adult male blue duikers and 77% of adult females lived in a couple (none lived in a group other than a pair, the rest were all solitary).  As many of you probably know, part of living in a couple is maintaining the relationship, and we've seen blue and Maxwell's duikers doing this in a couple ways: they press the scent glands on their faces together, looking a bit like a double-cheek kiss, and they groom each other by licking.

For your Valentine's Day enjoyment, here are some short clips of duikers interacting:

Thanks to C&S participants for tagging these clips!  If you'd like to see the full videos, they're located herehereherehere, and here.

Hope you have a great Valentine's Day, and we look forward to seeing you at Chimp & See!

Kingdon, Jonathan, et al. Mammals of Africa. Vol. 6. A&C Black, 2013.
Estes, Richard. The behavior guide to African mammals. Vol. 64. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

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