Neighbor Recognition in Two "Solitary" Carnivores: The Raccoon (Procyon lotor) and the Red Fox (Vulpes fulva)

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Science  30 Aug 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4153, pp. 794-796
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4153.794


Male raccoons and red foxes were trapped alive and exposed to each other in captivity. Animals of each species trapped close to one another demonstrated a higher frequency of initial dominance-subordinance relationships and lower frequencies of more intense aggressive interactions than did animals trapped at greater distances from each other. This suggests the existence of neighbor recognition and thus a rudimentary social structure within these free-living "solitary" species.