Abstract # 5978 Event # 133:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 04:45 PM-05:00 PM: Session 20 (Henry Oliver) Oral Presentation


RANK, REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS, AND RATES OF AGONISTIC AND AFFILIATIVE BEHAVIORS IN RHESUS MACAQUES

K. M. Milich and D. Maestripieri
University of Chicago, Institute for Mind and Biology, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
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     Being the alpha male in a primate group is an effective reproductive strategy; however, recent evidence suggests that numerous factors can influence this success rate. The size of the group, male-to-female ratio, and patterns of aggressive and affiliative behaviors can cause variation in reproductive skew across males. In this study, we compare the reproductive success of high ranking males across 9 groups of semi-free-ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. We test four hypotheses for variation in reproductive success in rhesus macaques: 1) rank is positively correlated with reproductive success; 2) group size and composition are correlated with differences in male reproductive skew; 3) male dominance rank is positively correlated with aggressive behaviors; and 4) reproductive success is positively correlated with affiliative behaviors within different rank categories. Focal and ad libitum behavioral data were recorded for 21 adult males during the mating season, from mid-February to mid-July 2013. All measures were compared using mixed GLMs in SPSS with a significance level of 0.05. Rank is positively correlated with reproductive success, but not with rates of affiliative behaviors. Furthermore, larger groups do not have lower reproductive skew across males, but high ranking males do show higher rates of aggression. This study suggests that high ranking male rhesus macaques can use different strategies to attract females and maintain high reproductive rates.