Behavioral Sequences During Dominance Hierarchy Formation in Chickens

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Science  23 Apr 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4544, pp. 439-440
DOI: 10.1126/science.216.4544.439


Dominance hierarchies near linearity (containing mostly transitive and few intransitive triads) are common in many species. Analysis of the possible sequences for forming dominance relationships shows that two ensure transitivity, and two others produce either transitive or intransitive triads. Experiments with chickens show that in groups of three and four they most often use the two sequences that ensure transitivity and thus linear hierarchies. Examination of such sequences may help explain the formation of near linear hierarchies in other species.