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Male Careers in Sumatran Long-Tailed Macaq,Ues (Macaca Fascicularis)

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image of Behaviour

The sexually mature males present in a multi-male group of monkeys differ among each other with respect to dominance position, age, duration of stay in the group and the likelihood of having offspring in the group. Focal animal samples were collected over a four year period in two groups of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in northern Sumatra to study their behaviour. 1. Residence time had only minor effects on male behaviour. 2. With increasing age males were less often involved in social interactions, but older males gave more contact calls and especially answered these more frequently. 3. A male's socio-spatial behaviour appeared to be strongly affected by his dominance rank. A drastic change in socio-spatial position occurred when a male had obtained the highest dominance rank, but only after the offspring he probably fathered were born. 4. We concluded that a high chance of paternity strongly influenced a male's behaviour. Several aspects of the classic "alpha-role" could be related to paternity chances and not to current dominance rank. 5. A generalized career profile of males is constructed in order to facilitate comparison with other promiscuous species.

Affiliations: 1: (Laboratorium voor Vergelijkende Fysiologie, Rijksunivcrsiteit Utrecht, Jan van Galenstraat 40, 3572 LA Utrecht, The Netherlands


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