IS SO­CIAL RANK

EQUUS - - Medical Front -

A foal in­her­its many at­tributes from his dam, but high so­cial rank does not ap­pear to be one of them, ac­cord­ing to a new study from the Czech Repub­lic.

Over two foal­ing sea­sons at the Na­tional Stud Farm, Kladruby nad Labem, re­searchers ob­served 59 na­tive Kladruby brood­mares, who lived in sev­eral small, sta­ble herds num­ber­ing from eight to 14 horses. In­ter­ac­tions were recorded in the mare-foal groups, and the re­searchers doc­u­mented the hi­er­ar­chy of each herd, iden­ti­fy­ing the most dom­i­nant mem­bers.

Dur­ing the ob­ser­va­tion pe­riod, 79 foals were born to the study mares. The young­sters were weaned when they were 4 to 7 months old, then moved to herds at another fa­cil­ity. When the off­spring turned 3, the re­searchers re­turned to an­a­lyze the hi­er­ar­chies of the dif­fer­ent herds and de­ter­mine which mem­bers were most dom­i­nant.

At the out­set of the

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