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Mutual Reciprocity of Grooming in Female Japanese Macaques (Macaca Fuscata)

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Grooming interactions among female Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) were observed and compared between affiliated and unaffilitated non-related pairs, mother and adult female offspring paris, and mother and immature offspring pairs. Unaffiliated (rarely interacting) members of pairs were likely to approach and then groom the other, in contrast to affiliated (frequently interacting) pairs, who more often approached and then solicited grooming from the other. The return receipt of a benefit just given, in the form of reciprocation of grooming, was immediate in non-related pairs. The brief interval between the occurrence of reciprocation facilitated the estimation of receiving as much benefit as was given in the case of rare grooming. However, such was not the case for related pairs. Adult female offspring solicited grooming from mothers more than immature offspring. The findings are discussed with reference to previous theories about the evolution of altruistic behaviour.

Affiliations: 1: (Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama, Aichi 484, Japan


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