*Department ofZoology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2.
Physiological correlates of social behaviour in Bighorn sheep: a field study using electrocardiogram telemetry
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 196, Issue 3, pages 401–415, March 1982
How to Cite
Macarthur, R. A., Geist, V. and Johnston, R. H. (1982), Physiological correlates of social behaviour in Bighorn sheep: a field study using electrocardiogram telemetry. Journal of Zoology, 196: 401–415. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1982.tb03511.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 9 June 1981
Telemetered heart rates (HR) were correlated with social interactions of adult free-ranging Bighorn sheep (0vi.s canadensis canadensis). Minimal cardiac responses suggest that economy of expression is a pervasive feature of social behaviour in this species. Commonly performed courtship, dominance and agonistic displays elicited few HR responses in either sender or receiver; those that did occur, were transitory and usually accompanied motor reactions by the subject. Intense behavioural acts that occurred infrequently, such as mount attempts, rush-charges and clashes, evoked maximal HR increases in both performer and receiver. These findings are consistent with the complex social behaviour of Bighorn sheep and a life-strategy demanding frugal investment of resources in maintenance, in order to maximize growth and reproduction.