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Behavioural Sequences and Strategies of Female Crab-Eating Monkeys, Macaca Fascicularis Raffles, 1821, During Group Formation Studies

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Through introductions, reintroductions and fusion experiments with fourteen adult Macaca fascicularis (one male, thirteen females) we were able to demonstrate the following: 1. During introductions the alpha male and the alpha female perform special functions, and this corresponds to their behaviour in the group. 2. The relationships between the alpha male and the newly introduced animal develop according to a fixed rule with different stages of integration. Stage 1, 'pursuit', is followed by stage 2, 'presenting', stage 3, 'mounting', stage 4, 'biting on the back' and finally stage 5, 'mutual allogrooming'. The same rule applies to dyadic relationships in the females-only group. 3. The alpha female bites the newly introduced animal right at the beginning of the introduction - before or after the male. 4. Among the females there appears to be a natural ranking of animals into high-ranking and low-ranking individuals. Later rank is additionally dependent on various factors, such as time of introduction and relations with other animals. 5. To attain a higher rank, females use certain strategies. Two of these were recognized as the principal ones: avoiding of agonistic altercations and establishment of mutual allogrooming relations with higher-ranking animals.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Zoology and Comp. Anatomy, University of Kassel, G.F.R.

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