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Abstract

The social system of 4 adult Chinese hamsters was analysed under semi-natural conditions in a large enclosure. In all trials the home ranges overlapped, but were patterned in a different way and patrolled in turn. ♂♂ were inferior and less aggressive than ♀♀ and had to change their nest site more frequently. The observed social organization is based on a dominance order influenced by home range site and by activity.