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Laterality. 2010 Nov;15(6):629-38. doi: 10.1080/13576500903081814. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Preferred neck-resting position predicts aggression in Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber).

Author information

  • 1Psychology Department, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. matthew.anderson@sju.edu

Erratum in

  • Laterality. 2012;17(6):756.


When flamingos rest, they typically lay their heads along their backs. In order to achieve this positioning they curve their necks to either the right or left of their midline. Previously we have shown both individual and flock-level laterality of preferred neck-resting direction, with most birds preferring to rest their necks to their right (Anderson, Williams, & O'Brien, 2009). As laterality has been shown to play a role in social cohesion (e.g., Rogers & Workman, 1989) and aggression (e.g., Vallortigara, Cozzutti, Tommasi, & Rogers, 2001), here we attempted to determine whether a flamingo's preferred neck-resting direction could be used to predict involvement in aggressive encounters. Results replicated the earlier flock-level preference for neck resting towards the right, and indicated that those flamingos preferring the left were more likely to be involved in aggressive encounters.

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