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Philopatry

Philopatry describes the behaviour of permanently settling close to one’s native home range. In most species with philopatry, it is the females, who once adult, try to find a home range close to their mother.

Philopatry leads to the formation of matrilineal assemblages, where females in a specific area are surrounded by other females related to them (like their mother, aunts, grandmothers, cousins).

If resources are scarce there is likely to be competition among female siblings about who gets to stay close to the mother. Body size seems to be an important factor in determining who wins, the general idea being that the bigger sister is the one who wins.

Photo: Alexander Kopatz

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