Abstract # 2667 Event # 225:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 02:45 PM-02:55 PM: Session 24 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, SPATIAL ASSOCIATIONS AND KINSHIP IN A HOWLER MONKEY (ALOUATTA PALLIATA) GROUP ON BARRO COLORADO ISLAND, PANAMA

K. Milton1, K. Ellis2, J. D. Lozier3 and E. A. Lacey4
1University of California at Berkeley, Dept. Environmental Science, Policy & Management, Berkeley, CA 94720-3114, USA, 2College of Forestry & Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA, 3Dept. Entomology, University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA, 4Dept. Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140, USA
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Interactions among members of a social group are important because they can influence resource and mate acquisition, thereby affecting potential reproductive success. In bisexually dispersing species, younger individuals of both sexes typically emigrate from the natal group. For this reason, within groups, kinship between individuals should have little effect on adult-adult social interactions. To examine social interactions and kinship in a bisexually dispersing species, we collected behavioral and genetic data on a group of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Social interactions among adult [n=9] and older juvenile [n=3] group members were characterized using focal animal and instantaneous scan samples. Blood samples were collected from all individuals to examine kinship. All social interactions occurred at low frequency. Monte Carlo matrix randomization of nearest neighbor (NN) dyads across five spatial scales (0-15 m) identified 84 significant social associations. Mixed-sex dyads made up the highest percentage [39.3%] of significant associations, with most resulting from short-term sexual interest between males and females. Adult males had higher average relatedness than adult females, although members of dyads with significant social relationships were not more closely related than expected. These data suggest that on BCI, within-group kinship is common among some or all adult male group mates. Such relatedness may enhance cooperation among males and contribute to group defense and resource acquisition.