I was reading this blog on Scientific American, which discusses whether wild animals are happier than domesticated ones. I've also read about strong territorial instincts in some species. This reading led me to ask whether there is any non-human animal social group that punishes members with something similar to "imprisonment".

When I say "imprisonment" I mean restricting the mobility and survival freedom of members, for some social or cultural reason.

By "imprison", obviously I don't mean the use of cages or prisons or any of the manmade ways of imprisoning. I wish to know about whether, in any species, a member acting alone (or acting together with others of their own), build a virtual territorial wall/ring around another member(s) of their own species, acting almost like an imprisonment? This may not be physical exertion of muscle force, but may by making (say, for example) continuous noises as a group to restrict the territory of their own member.

Maybe, one can exclude adult members forcefully protecting their young ones, because that would be in their instinctive interest, even if the young ones' instinct is to violate a restriction. Also please avoid answers on behaviour of one species defending their territory. That's not the same as restricting by "constructing" a limiting threshold in an enclosure-like fashion.

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    $\begingroup$ does slavery count, as e.g. ants? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave-making_ant $\endgroup$ Nov 19, 2020 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, thanks. I knew about bees for class-divide. I meant imprisoning for bad behaviour or for some kind of misfit in the community. $\endgroup$
    – Whirl Mind
    Nov 19, 2020 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ whoof... that is a really big topic that seems to be more about animal social/cultural structure than a particular sort of social tool (imprisonment). Editing the question to reflect this new information. i'm not the person to answer this, other than to suggest to read more. maybe there is something here that can help you: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936173 $\endgroup$ Nov 19, 2020 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Your recent edit has made your question quite a bit clearer, but I have no idea what you mean by "survival freedom". In addition, you seem to be excluding the large group of animals that modestly refer to themselves as Homo sapiens. I've edited your post to make that clear and also removed your last paragraph, which seems both disingenuous and irrelevant to your central question. I also made some small corrections of typos etc. Please make sure that I have not altered your intended meaning. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Nov 20, 2020 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ consider that very few human societies use imprisonment, only ones with a large food surpluses and large populations, most human societies use shunning instead which is quite common in social animals, but that does not work with groups much larger than dunbar's number, where most people are strangers. Imprisonment is an invention created due to limits in our evolved social controls not something instinctual. Also consider whether shunning would count as imprisonment by your definition. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Nov 21, 2020 at 5:21


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