Abstract # 2810 Event # 133:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 11:30 AM-11:40 AM: Session 24 (Medallion Ballroom A) Oral Presentation


TOLERATED CO-FEEDING BETWEEN CONSORTSHIP PARTNERS IN THE FREE-RANGING POPULATION OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) OF CAYO SANTIAGO, PUERTO RICO

C. Dubuc1, K. D. Hughes2, J. Cascio1 and L. R. Santos3
1Département d'anthropologie, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA, 3Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
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Trading sex for resources or services has been demonstrated in several animal species, including humans. In nonhuman primates, however, little evidence exists to suggest that females may gain immediate benefits from sexual consortships. In order to address this, we investigated whether male rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago were more tolerant of consortship partners than of other females. We presented consortship [N=22] and non-consortship pairs [N=22] with an apparatus that contained a limited amount of monopolizable, high-quality food. The apparatus consisted of two polystyrene boxes placed 50cm apart. During testing, an experimenter placed the apparatus in front of a male-female pair and visibly dropped two pieces of food per box; tests were aborted if a subject reached the apparatus before the experimenter walked away. Subsequent behaviors were divided into four different tolerance levels: 0 (only the male reached the apparatus), 1 (partners searched at different time), 2 (partners searched in different boxes), and 3 (partners searched for food in the same box). Females in consortship were significantly more tolerated at the apparatus than non-consortship females [GLMM: random factors: IDs; fixed factor: pair type; F(1,40.9)=23.293, P<0.001] and thus obtained significantly more food [F(1, 35.4)=4.858, P=0.034]. Only consorting females reached level 3. These results indicate that female rhesus macaques gain immediate benefits from sexual consortships. The investigation was approved by the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus IACUC.