Abstract # 8019 Poster # 17:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


FEMALE-FEMALE AGGRESSION IS HEIGHTENED DURING CONSORTS WITH PREFERRED PARTNERS IN OLIVE BABOONS (PAPIO ANUBIS)

J. Walz1 and D. Kitchen2
1University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Whitewater, WI 53190, USA, 2The Ohio State University Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
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     There is evidence that female choice and male-female friendships play important roles in reproduction in olive baboons (Papio anubis). Strategies that limit competition among females for access to mates and friends, like directing aggression towards potential competitors, may have significant fitness benefits. To begin testing the role of female-female aggression in male-female associations we completed a 14-month study at Gombe Stream National Park, conducting focal follows (n=666) on cycling female olive baboons (N=19) and collecting fecal samples (n=612) to assess ovulatory status. Female baboons exchanged 676 agonistic interactions (excluding approach-retreat interactions, which were used to determine rank relationships) with other females in their social groups over the course of the study. Females initiated and received lower rates of aggression during consorts than outside this mate-guarding context (Mann-Whitney U test, initiated U=-2.615, p=0.009; received: U=-7.438, p<0.001), indicating the consort partner may insulate females from these aggressive encounters. Females that were ovulating and in consorts directed higher rates of aggression towards other females (U=2.758, p=0.006), specifically targeting lactating females rather than other cycling (U=2.301, p=0.021) or pregnant females (U=-3.136, p=0.002). Finally, females were more aggressive when in consorts with preferred partners compared to those who were not preferred (U=2.301, p=0.021). We argue these data indicate female olive baboons preferential direct aggression towards other females to avoid disruption of bonding with potential sires of offspring.