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Power struggles are best kept out of the public eye


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For animals, prevailing in a fight affects their likelihood of winning future conflicts. The opposite is true of losing a fight. The sex hormone testosterone is often believed to mediate this "winner effect". Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen have examined whether the presence of an audience influences the behaviour and the testosterone changes of Japanese quails (Coturnix japonica) after a fight. The evidence shows that both winners and losers exhibit raised testosterone levels after a conflict without an audience.

 

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