Abstract # 1953 Event # 112:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 10:45 AM-11:00 AM: Session 10 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation


FEMALE RANK, PHYSICAL CONDITION, AND INFANT DEVELOPMENT: EVIDENCE FOR CONTEST COMPETITION IN A FEMALE DISPERSAL SPECIES

E. Larney1 and A. Koenig2
1Stony Brook University, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook , NY 11794-4364, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 11794-4364, USA
line
     In contrast to predictions of socio-ecological models, linear hierarchies and female dispersal co-occur in Phayre's leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus phayrei). Whether this pattern is linked to contest competition and how it affects female reproduction is, however, unknown. Here we investigate the interrelations of female dominance rank, female physical condition, and speed of infant development. We observed two groups of leaf monkeys in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. Rank was based on agonistic interactions, physical condition was documented once a month (7-point scale, 16 females), and infant development was recorded weekly/ biweekly via changes in skin and coat coloration (8 infants). We scored the beginning, end, and duration of changes resulting in 27 measures. Female rank and physical condition was significantly correlated (Spearman, p<0.05). The speed of infant development had a large range. For example, duration of coat color change varied by more than two months. Duration of skin color change was strongly (p<0.01, one outlier excluded) and coat color change weakly (p<0.2) correlated with mother's physical condition. In 86% of the measures, the correlation between condition and development was in the predicted direction (Binomial test, p<0.001). These results show that contest competition may prevail in a female dispersal species with consequences even for infant development. Thus, females in a better condition (and higher rank) may benefit reproductively. Supported by ASP, NSF (BCS-0215542) & Wenner-Gren Foundation.