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Alpha male replacements and delayed dispersal in crested macaques (Macaca nigra).

Marty, PR, Hodges, K, Agil, M and Engelhardt, A (2015) Alpha male replacements and delayed dispersal in crested macaques (Macaca nigra). American Journal of Primatology. ISSN 1098-2345

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In species with a high male reproductive skew, competition between males for the top dominant position is high and escalated fights are common between competitors. As a consequence, challenges incur potentially high costs. Selection should favor males who time an alpha male challenge to maximize chances of a successful outcome minimizing costs. Despite the importance of alpha male replacements for individual males, we know little about the timing of challenges and the condition of the challenger. We investigated the timing and process of alpha male replacements in a species living in multi-male groups with high male reproductive skew, the crested macaque. We studied four wild groups over 6 years in the Tangkoko Reserve, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, during which 16 alpha male replacements occurred. Although unusual for cercopithecines, male crested macaques delayed their natal dispersal until they attained maximum body mass and therefore fighting ability whereupon they emigrated and challenged the alpha male in another group. Accordingly, all observed alpha male replacements were from outside males. Ours is the first report of such a pattern in a primate species living in multi-male groups. Although the majority of alpha male replacements occurred through direct male-male challenges, many also took place opportunistically (i.e., after the alpha male had already been injured or had left the group). Furthermore, alpha male tenures were very short (averaging ca. 12 months). We hypothesize that this unusual pattern of alpha male replacements in crested macaques is related to the species-specific combination of high male reproductive skew with a large number of males per group. Am. J. Primatol. 9999:1-8, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. American Journal of Primatology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 13:03
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:13
DOI or ID number: 10.1002/ajp.22448
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3195
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