This paper is dedicated to Konrad Lorenz who pioneered the use of comparative methods in the study of behavior evolution.
Behavioral Specializations for River Life in the African Black Duck (Anas sparsa Eyton)1
Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
1978 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 349–400, January-December 1978
How to Cite
McKinney, F., Siegfried, W. R., Ball, I. J. and Frost, P. G. H. (1978), Behavioral Specializations for River Life in the African Black Duck (Anas sparsa Eyton). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 48: 349–400. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1978.tb00266.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
- Received: August 31, 1977; Accepted: May 16, 1978
Field studies on individually marked birds near Stellenbosch, South Africa support the view that Anas sparsa is a river specialist derived from a pond-dwelling mallard-like ancestor. The key river adaptation is year-round territoriality and only established pairs breed. Mates cooperate in territory defense and both sexes engage in damaging fighting (using wing-spurs) over mates and territories. Changes in social behavior interpreted as consequences of river specialization include elimination of raping, strong development of mate-testing, mate-stealing and mate-holding tactics, and reduction of social courtship to a vestigial condition.