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Clans and Harems in a Colony of Hamadryas and Hybrid Baboons: Male Kinship, Familiarity and the Formation of Brother-Teams

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Three features of the hamadryas society, Papio hamadryas, which are quite unique among Old World monkeys, are its multileveled structure (i.e. harems, clans, bands, troop), the reported pattern of female dispersal (i.e. males tend to remain in their natal clans whereas females tend to move between clans and bands), and the special bonds that develop between adult males. It has also been hypothesized that the males of a clan are genetically related. In this paper a causal approach is adopted in order to investigate the proximate factors which can account for the structure/dynamics of socio-spatial group organization observed over two years in a large colony of hamadryas and hybrid baboons housed in an outdoor enclosure in the Madrid Zoo, containing 18 adult males with known kin relations. I first examined the types of grouping observed in the colony and the alternative social strategies used by the different male individuals during their ontogenetic trajectories for acquiring, and maintaining, females. Since the hamadryas baboon is considered a female-transfer species, I studied whether the sex that stays, that is, the males, developed some kind of mutual affiliative relationship, as one would predict, and whether their inter-male bonding preferences were based on genetic relatedness or on familiarity (i.e. sharing the same developmental environment during socialization).

Affiliations: 1: (Departamento de Psicobiología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 Madrid, Spain

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