Abstract # 122:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2008 08:30 AM-08:40 AM: Session 13 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation

What distinguishes “follower” males from "nonfollower" males in olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) in Kenya?

L. M. Danish1 and R. A. Palombit1,2
1Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, 131 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA, 2Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, Rutgers University
     Previous studies in olive baboons have revealed that a consorting pair may be “followed” by multiple adult males that maintain proximity and interact with both the consortship and each other.  This “following” behavior remains virtually unstudied, although it has been widely described and suggested as an alternative mating strategy to solo competition and coalition formation.  The project goal was to collect preliminary data to develop a quantitative assessment of following.  Behavioral data were collected via 0/1 sampling, with a sample period of one observation day.  Consorting and following adults were studied in a group of habituated olive baboons (N=58) in Laikipia District, Kenya from June to July 2007.  Data were collected on 20 affiliative and agonistic behaviors, along with physical condition and dominance rank of males (for six to eight males per day).  A discriminant analysis revealed that followers were significantly different from nonfollowers [Wilks’ Lambda F(22,57)=3.71, p<0.0001].  Physical condition, five types of affiliative and six agonistic interactions both with other followers and the consort male had high correlation with the discriminant function [r>0.45].  Follower-consort male interactions were defined primarily by agonistic variables, indicating that conflict characterizes this relationship.  In contrast, follower-follower relationships derived from both agonistic and affiliative interactions, suggesting that interactions amongst followers are multifaceted.  Thus, following does not appear to be a unitary phenomenon, but likely comprises multiple male mating strategies.