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A Comparative Study of Aggression and Conciliation in Three Cercopithecine Monkeys (Macaca Fuscata, Macaca Nigra, Papio Papio)

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Patterns of aggression and reconciliation were studied in three captive groups of monkeys belonging to different species: Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), crested macaques (M. nigra) and Guinea baboons (Papio papio). Consistent differences were found comparing same dyads of individuals in the three groups. Aggression was often followed by retaliation and reconciliation in the group of crested macaques, such responses occurred less frequently in the group of Japanese macaques, more variable results were found in the group of Guinea baboons. Aggressive manual contacts occurred more frequently in crested macaques than in the other two groups. Rates of biting did not differ consistently among groups but bites could induce bleeding in the group of Japanese macaques. The use of peaceful interventions in conflicts was common in crested macaques, rare in Guinea baboons and unobserved in Japanese macaques. Data from other studies indicate that the contrasts found between groups could be due to interspecific variation. The present results suggest that the covariation between conciliation rates, degree of symmetry in conflicts and level of intensity in aggression may stem from phylogenetic constraints.

Affiliations: 1: Ethologie & Neurobiologie, CNRS-URA 1295, Université Louis Pasteur, 7 rue de l'Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France

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