Abstract # 1014 Event # 111:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 10:30 AM-10:45 AM: Session 8 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation


THE FILIAL BOND OFFSPRING MAINTAIN WITH THEIR MOTHERS AS THE INITIAL BUILDING BLOCK OF CERCOPITHECINE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

J. Warfield1,2,3
1Institute for Study of Child Development, RWJ Medical School-UMDNJ, 130 West 79th Street, Apt. 16F, New York, NY 10024, USA, 2Columbia University, 3New York Consortium for Evolutionary Primatology
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     The persistent filial bond Old World monkey, ape, and human offspring maintain with their mothers has been ignored as a factor in social organization. Instead, primate social organization is seen as a response to ecological, reproductive, and phylogenetic constraints. Socio-ecological models depend exclusively on kin selection and inclusive fitness theory to explain how matrilineal social organization emerges from group living. To study early development of filial bonds, including trajectories of costs and benefits, I sampled 23 free-ranging rhesus monkey infant-mother dyads from birth through 42 weeks. Subjects continued to seek maternal contact and proximity long after mothers stopped providing substantial levels of nutrition, protection, or transport. 7-10-month-old infants received less maternal nutrition, protection, and transport and more rejection and agonism than when they were 0-3-month-olds (ANOVAs: all differences P < 0.05; N = 23). Nevertheless, on average infants spent as much waking time off but within arm’s length of their mothers in months 7-10 as they did in months 0-3. Results reported here suggest that cercopithecine matrilineal social organization may be better explained by persistent filial bonds and patterns of transfer from natal groups than by kin selection which does not appear to predict matrilineal social organization. Empirical support for kin selection theory requires evidence of caregiving outside the parent-offspring relationship; as discussed by Hamilton, parent-offspring caregiving is sufficiently explained by classical natural selection theory.