Abstract # 152:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


MATRILINE-RELATEDNESS INFLUENCES THE EFFICACY OF POLICING BY ALPHA MALE RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

M. E. Jackson1, D. L. Hannibal1, B. A. Beisner1, S. K. Seil1 and B. J. McCowan1,2
1University of California, Davis, California National Primate Research Center, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine
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     In several primate species, high-ranking adult males act as policers, regulating deleterious aggression and wounding among group members. Regulation of the alpha matriline may be especially important to maintaining stability and reducing despotic behavior. In wild groups, high-ranking adult males are frequently unrelated to group females allowing them to police without biased agenda. However, in captive environments, where immigration is impeded by structural constraints, natal males from high-ranking matrilines often achieve high individual ranks (via kin alliances). These high-ranking males may benefit by not regulating their kin’s aggression. A mixed-effects logistic regression on aggressive events initiated by the alpha matriline (N=5984 events from 7 captive rhesus groups) revealed that alpha males who were unrelated to the alpha matriline intervened against alpha matriline aggression significantly more than alpha males who were from the alpha matriline (beta=1.369, p=0.007). This suggests that the presence of adult males unrelated to the alpha matriline may be crucial to the regulation of deleterious aggression and wounding in primate social groups. In captive facilities, management should ameliorate this problem by removing alpha matriline males and, where possible, introducing non-natal males to social groups.