Monotreme Dominance Hierarchies

Cross references:  Monotremes 

NOTE;  Searching Google for "Monotreme dominance" yielded only one article in the first four pages of hits, but it was long and very informative: 
 
Monotremata (Monotremes) (Goog) 
Long article with information on more than just dominance. 
Available online for free.  
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By early spring, courtship and rivalry among platypuses is well underway and males become very aggressive. They will fight for dominance and the right to mate with the females living within their range. They have no teeth and their claws are blunt, but the sharp spurs on the ankles are deadly. Normally, they are kept folded away to avoid snagging, but during battle they are raised. Fights occur in the water, where the animals are most agile, and combatants swim in tight circles, each attempting to spike the other and inject a debilitating dose of venom. The venom is toxic enough to kill a dog and cause agonizing pain and prolonged paralysis in humans. The male duck-billed platypus is the world's only venomous mammal. The spurs in male echidnas are small and sharp, but lack the deadly venom. Having seen off his rivals, the victorious male woos the female with a courtship involving a slow circular dance, during which he holds her tail in his bill. Both courtship and mating take place in the water.

Rivalry among male echidnas is equally intense, though not quite as violent. At the start of the breeding season, male echidnas begin following females around. After two or three weeks, some females have attracted a following of six or seven suitors, that follow her every move in a line known somewhat whimsically as a "love train." As the female comes into breeding condition, the males begin circling her, creating a circular trench from which each male attempts to evict his rivals. The last male left in attendance claims the right to mate.



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