Abstract # 131:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: Session 24 (Medallion Ballroom A) Oral Presentation


ALLIANCES BETWEEN NATAL MALES AND MATERNAL KIN IN CAPTIVE GROUPS OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

B. A. Beisner1,2, M. E. Jackson1, A. N. Cameron1 and B. McCowan1,3
1California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Anthropology Department, Pennsylvania State University, University Park PA 16802, 3Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis, Davis, CA 95616
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In the wild, male rhesus macaques disperse at sexual maturity, and females remain in their natal groups, which permits cooperation among female kin. In captivity, however, males cannot disperse (unless facilitated by management staff), which allows males to cooperate with their maternal kin. Since cooperation between “natal” males and their maternal kin is atypical, gaining a further understanding of such cooperation may be important to the successful maintenance of captive groups. We investigated the factors influencing the frequency of alliances between males and their maternal kin in seven captive groups [group size range: 110-200] of rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center [163 males, N=1243 male×observation weeks]. Agonistic interactions and alliances via third-party intervention and co-aggression were recorded using an event sampling design. A random-effects Poisson regression analysis indicated that frequency of alliances between males and their maternal kin is influenced by demographic factors. Young males [2.5-5 yrs] were more likely to have alliances with maternal kin if their mother was present in the group [P<0.004]. Males with more siblings [P<0.03] and from higher-ranking families [P<0.001] were also more likely to have alliances with their maternal kin. In captive rhesus groups, the role of kin alliances in male agonistic behavior and rank acquisition may be as important as it is for females, which may have consequences for social dynamics and group stability.