Abstract # 4321 Event # 22:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 04:00 PM-04:15 PM: Session 6 (Magnolia) Oral Presentation


DIFFERENCES IN CONSORTSHIP PARTNER CHOICE IN TWO GROUPS OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

D. R. Davison1,2, P. Mac Carron3, J. P. Capitanio1,2 and J. J. Vandeleest1,2
1University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, 3Applied Maths Research Centre, Coventry University, UK
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     Non-random mating patterns are central to the theory of sexual selection and can shape the evolutionary trajectory of a species. However, relatively little is known about the group level dynamics of mating behavior in non-human primates and how it can vary within a species. In this project we examined the mating behavior of 80 adult rhesus macaques living in two half-acre corrals at the California National Primate Research Center. Data were collected on the consortship behavior in the groups over a six week period during the mating season. We constructed and analyzed two consortship networks in order to study differences in network structure and partner preferences. We used Pearson’s correlation tests and found that in one cage, high ranking females tended to consort with males of high degree (number of consortship partners) [r=-0.45; N=30; p<0.05] and high ranking males tended to consort with low-degree females, although the second relationship was not significant at the 0.05 level [r=0.26; N=30; p<0.1]. In the larger cage in which both the alpha male and alpha female were geriatric, the relationships were different and neither female nor male rank were significantly correlated with the degree of their consortship partners [r1=0.14; r2=0.056; N=41, p>0.1]. These differences indicate that the composition and dynamics of a social group may play a large role in shaping the reproductive behavior of its members.