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Animal Dominance: Head Rooster Shows Superiority With Vocal Cock-A-Doodle-Do

First Posted: Jul 24, 2015 04:05 PM EDT
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You can thank the rooster for waking up thousands throughout the years. These animals are famous for crowing right at the break of day. Yet which rooster starts of the sound?

New findings published in the journal Scientific Reports reveal that the most dominant rooster of a localized group is typically the first to announce the initial signs of the sun.

Just like other animals who maintain a social hierarchy or "pecking order," within these groups, birds' base social structure. For instance, in a group of hens, the dominant bird asserts her superiority via pecks while the second-ranking hen pecks all the other birds aside from her superior.

While roosters are similar to hens when it comes to social hiearchy, researchers at Nagoya University found that the highest ranking rooster is also first to eat and mate. However, when the researchers removed the highest ranking rooster, the second-in-command took over inaugural crowing duties.

"We have discovered that roosters live in a strictly linear hierarchy, where social ranking reflects the order to announce the break of dawn," study author Takashi Yoshimura, said in a news release.

The new findings come following a previous study that showed how roosters can accurately announce the coming of the sun, even when placed in a dark room. In other words, it is these animals are dependent on their internal biological clocks.

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