Social status influences infection risk and disease-induced mortality

Spotted hyena cubs of high-ranking mothers have a lower probability of infection with and are more likely to die from canine distemper virus (CDV) than cubs of low-ranking mothers. In subadults and adults, the picture is reversed – high-ranking females exhibit a higher infection probability than low-ranking females whereas mortality was similar for both groups. These are the surprising and interesting results of a long-term study conducted by scientists at the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW). They have just been published in the scientific journal “Functional Ecology”. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)