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Free-Ranging Rhesus Monkeys: Behavioural Effects of Removal, Separation and Reintroduction of Group Members

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Rhesus monkeys (26) varying in age, sex and social rank were removed from their free-ranging groups and held captive for periods of 1 to 103 days. 'The absence of the alpha male did not affect the group's home range on the island habitats or its rank in the intergroup dominance hierarchy. When released the monkeys interacted most with those closest to them in rank, attacking those lower and grooming those higher. Of 18 males, 8 failed to rejoin their groups and became solitary or low-ranking in other groups. Only 1 of 9 females failed to rejoin their group. Males held captive for more than four weeks seldom rejoined after release. Upon reintroduction alpha females experienced more difficulty than lower-ranking females in maintaining rank. This procedure of removing and reintroducing members of free-ranging groups is of value in studying social roles.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Biology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, U.S.A

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