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Sex-specific reproductive behaviours and paternity in free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)

Brauch, K and Hodges, K and Engelhardt, A and Fuhrmann, K and Shaw, E and Heistermann, M (2008) Sex-specific reproductive behaviours and paternity in free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 62 (9). pp. 1453-1466. ISSN 0340-5443

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Abstract

In a wide variety of species, male reproductive success is determined by contest for access to females. Among multi-male primate groups, however, factors in addition to male competitive ability may also influence paternity outcome, although their exact nature and force is still largely unclear. Here, we have investigated in a group of free-ranging Barbary macaques whether paternity is determined on the pre- or postcopulatory level and how male competitive ability and female direct mate choice during the female fertile phase are related to male reproductive success. Behavioural observations were combined with faecal hormone analysis for timing of the fertile phase (13 cycles, 8 females) and genetic paternity analysis (n = 12). During the fertile phase, complete monopolisation of females did not occur. Females were consorted for only 49% of observation time, and all females had ejaculatory copulations with several males. Thus, in all cases, paternity was determined on the postcopulatory level. More than 80% of infants were sired by high-ranking males, and this reproductive skew was related to both, male competitive ability and female direct mate choice as high-ranking males spent more time in consort with females than low-ranking males, and females solicited copulations mainly from dominant males. As most ejaculatory copulations were female-initiated, female direct mate choice appeared to have the highest impact on male reproductive success. However, female preference was not directly translated into paternity, as fathers were not preferred over non-fathers in terms of solicitation, consortship and mating behaviour. Collectively, our data show that in the Barbary macaque, both sexes significantly influence male mating success, but that sperm of several males generally compete within the female reproductive tract and that therefore paternity is determined by mechanisms operating at the postcopulatory level.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-008-0575-7
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences, 07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: SPRINGER
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 08:57
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 08:57
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00265-008-0575-7
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3208

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