Bachelor herd

A bachelor herd is a herd of (usually) juvenile male animals who are still sexually immature or 'harem'-forming animals who have been thrown out of their parent groups but not yet formed a new family group. It may also refer to a group of males who are not currently territorial or mating with females.[1][2]

Examples include seals, dolphins, lions, and many herbivores such as deer, horses, and elephants. Bachelor herds are thought to provide useful protection for social animals against more established herd competition or aggressive, dominant males. Males in bachelor herds are sometimes closely related to each other. Some animals, for example New Zealand fur seals, live in a bachelor herd all year except for the mating season, when there is a substantial increase in aggression and competition.[3]

In many species, males and females move in separate groups, often coming together at mating time, or to fight for territory or mating partners. In many species it is common for males to leave or be driven from the group as they mature, and they may wander as lone animals or form a bachelor group for the time being. This arrangement may be long term and stable, or short term until they find a new group to join.

  1. ^ Estes, R.D. (2004). The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates. Berkeley, US: University of California Press. pp. 158–66. ISBN 978-0-520-08085-0.
  2. ^ Braje, Todd (2011). Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters: Integrating Archaeology and Ecology in the Northeast Pacific. Berkeley, US: University of California Press. pp. 210–222. ISBN 978-0-520-67268-0.
  3. ^ Chilvers, B.L.; Goldsworthy, S.D. (2015). "Arctocephalus forsteri, New Zealand Fur Seal". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 1–14.

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