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Mother-male bond, but not paternity, influences male-infant affiliation in wild crested macaques

Kerhoas, D and Kulik, L and Perwitasari-Farajallah, D and Agil, M and Engelhardt, A and Widdig, A (2016) Mother-male bond, but not paternity, influences male-infant affiliation in wild crested macaques. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1432-0762

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Abstract

In promiscuous primates, interactions between adult males and infants have rarely been investigated. However, recent evidence suggests that male affiliation towards infants has an influence on several aspects of the infants’ life. Furthermore, affiliations may be associated with male reproductive strategy. In this study, we examined which social factors influenced male-infant affiliation initiated by either male or infant, in wild crested macaques (Macaca nigra). We combined behavioral data and genetic paternity analysis from 30 infants living in three wild groups in Tangkoko Reserve, Indonesia. Our results indicate that adult males and infants do not interact at random, but rather form preferential associations. The social factors with the highest influence on infant-initiated interactions were male rank and male association with the infant’s mother. While infants initiated affiliations with males more often in the absence of their mothers, adult males initiated more affiliations with infants when their mothers were present. Furthermore, males initiated affiliations more often when they were in the same group at the time the infant was conceived, when they held a high dominance rank or when they had a close relationship with the mother. Interestingly, paternity did not affect male-infant affiliation despite being highly skewed in this species. Overall, our results suggest that adult males potentially associate with an infant to secure future mating with the mother. Infants are more likely to associate with a male to receive better support, suggesting a strategy to increase the chance of infant survival in a primate society with high infant mortality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences, 07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 12:40
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2017 08:49
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00265-016-2116-0
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3553

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