Abstract # 5885 Poster # 76:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


K. R. Finn1, B. A. Beisner1,2, E. Bliss-Moreau1 and B. McCowan1,2
1California National Primate Research Center, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis
     In Macaca mulatta the bared teeth display (BT) is thought to be a uni-directional signal about dominance relationships, communicating immediate submission in conflict and long-term subordination in peaceful contexts. We also document evidence of BTs used in mating contexts (mBT) accompanied by affiliation such as lip-smacking, jaw thrusting, consort behavior, and sex mounting. Status signaling interactions were recorded with event sampling four hours/week in one group. Of the 191 BTs observed September to December 2013, 13 were mBTs, 100% given from males to females, compared to only 2 (1.1%) male-to-female non-mBTs. Further, from data collected ad libitium in two additional groups we report 34 instances of “flirtatious” BTs from 7 males, 145 BTs with sex mounting from 11 males, and 2 bidirectional BTs captured on video. Of all observed BTs in flirtatious or sex mount contexts respectively, 86.5% and 56.1% were given by alpha or beta males, suggesting that mBTs are not communicating subordination. These data appear to contradict the power asymmetry hypothesis—that species having high power asymmetry have distinct submissive and affiliative signaling, whereas more power symmetric species have contextual overlap and bidirectional use of signals. However, we argue that power between rhesus in mating pairs may be more symmetric because female mate choice and promiscuity create greater uncertainty in these relationships.