Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan; http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/dantzerlab/
Meerkats and stress
Like many social animals, meerkats exhibit extensive individual-variation in the expression of cooperative (or helping) behaviour where some individuals exhibit consistently more cooperative behaviour than others. Meerkats also exhibit changes (plasticity) in their cooperative behaviour where they may exhibit more or less cooperation depending upon the circumstances. We are investigating how developmental experiences and stress physiology contributes to whether meerkats exhibit high or low levels of cooperative behaviour. This involves understanding what environmental factors cause stress in meerkats and assessing the consequences on their cooperative behaviour.