Abstract # 127:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2008 09:45 AM-09:55 AM: Session 13 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation


C. A. Shively, T. C. Register and S. L. Willard
Wake Forest Univ. School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1040, USA
     A robust determinant of behavior in macaques is social status. We evaluated whether animals that changed social status changed their behavior. The social behavior of 30 adult females, housed in groups of 4, was recorded in 15 min weekly focal observations for 12 months. The 2 highest ranked monkeys in each group were considered dominant; the others were considered subordinate. Dominants had a higher frequency of aggressive behaviors [F(1,28)=4.7; p<0.04] and were groomed for more time [F(1,28)=10.4; p=0.003]; whereas subordinates had a higher frequency of submissive behaviors [F(1,28)=14.0; p=0.008] and spent more time vigilantly scanning their social group [F(1,28)=7.6; p=0.01]. The constituency of the social groups was changed: 4 previous subordinates were housed together and 4 previous dominants were housed together. Linear social status hierarchies reformed and social behavior was recorded. Compared to dominants that remained dominant, dominants that became subordinate were more submissive [F(1,14)=6.1; p=0.03], and vigilant but the latter did not reach significance [F(1,14)=3.2, p<0.10]. Compared to subordinates who stayed subordinate, subordinates who became dominant had higher levels of aggressive behavior but this difference was not significant [F(1,12 =3.9, p=0.07]. Subordinates who became dominant also were not groomed more than subordinates that remained subordinate [F(1,12)=0.3, p=0.6]. Thus, dominance behavior of monkeys partially adapted to changing social status, however, the behavior of conspecifics (preferentially grooming high versus low ranking cagemates) did not. Supported by MH56881.