Data from: Dyadic leader-follower dynamics change across situations in captive house sparrows
Tuliozi, Beniamino; Camerlenghi, Ettore; Griggio, Matteo (2020), Data from: Dyadic leader-follower dynamics change across situations in captive house sparrows, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.66t1g1k19
Individuals can behave as either leaders or followers in many taxa of collectively-moving animals. Leaders initiate movements and may incur predation risks while followers are thought to be more risk-averse. As a group encounters different challenges and ecological situations, individuals in the group may change their social role. We investigated leader and follower roles using dyads of captive house sparrow (Passer domesticus) during both exploration of a novel environment and a simulation of predator attack. During the exploration of a novel environment individuals behaved consistently either as leaders or followers. However, in the simulated attack tests, individuals in the dyads switched their roles, with ‘followers’ leading the escape flights and ‘leaders’ following them. Our study provides evidence of (i) consistent differences between individuals in behavior during social escape and (ii) a relationship between social roles across different situations. We suggest that such relationship hinges on individual risk-taking tendencies, which manifest through different social roles across different ecological situations. We further speculate that risk-taking individuals might gain benefits by following risk-averse individuals during an escape flight.