Comparing The Four Mechanisms Of Kin Recognition

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Sherman and Holmes (1985) defined kin recognition as the differential treatment of conspecifics as a function of their genetic relatedness, and Holmes and Sherman (1982) listed four mechanisms of kin recognition that are expected to operate over a wide range of animal taxa and in diverse social and ecological contexts. These mechanisms are (a) spatial distribution, (b) association, (c) phenotypic matching, and (d) recognition of alleles (Hanggi and Schusterman, 1990). Spatial distribution refers to the ability of an organism to adjust their behavior in order to be successful in their immediate environment; this applies dramatically to the Pinnipeds since their environment consists of both terrestrial and marine locations. The remaining three
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