Abstract # 93:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


K. N. Balasubramaniam1, K. Dittmar1, C. M. Berman1, M. Butovskaya2, M. A. Cooper3, B. Majolo4, H. Ogawa5, G. Schino6, B. Thierry7 and F. B. de Waal8
1University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14261, USA, 2Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 3University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 4University of Lincoln, 5Chukyo University, 6Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, 7Universite' de Strasbourg, 8Emory University
     In Macaca, variation in social structure is characterized by the concept of social style; species are classified as belonging to one of four grades on a social style scale ranging from despotic to tolerant. We asked whether three aspects of social style – two measures of hierarchical steepness, and counter-aggression – co-varied with the placement of species on this scale, controlling for phylogenetic distances. We used behavioral data collected on 14 groups representing nine macaque species, and nine newly reconstructed phylogenetic trees. As predicted, both steepness measures correlated negatively (r=-0.79 and r=-0.8, n=9, p=0.01) and counter-aggression correlated positively (r=0.77, n=9, p=0.02) with scale. However, the nature of the distributions appeared to vary; while counter-aggression appeared to vary dichotomously, steepness measures appeared more continuous. Independent contrasts analyses controlling for phylogeny showed no significant consistent directional changes in behavioral measures at nodes below which there were evolutionary changes in scale. Further, contrasts were no greater at these nodes than at neutral nodes. Our findings support previous indications that co-variation between measures and the scale is more readily observable for species at the extreme ends of the scale than for those in intermediate positions. Further, correlations with the scale can be attributed largely to species' phylogenetic relationships. This indicates either a structural linkage of social traits based on adaptation to similar past ecological conditions, or unlinked phylogenetic closeness.