Affiliative behavior of adult female sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys)


  • Dr. Carolyn L. Ehardt

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Georgia, Athens, and Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta
    • Department of Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
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A 14-month study of 30 adult female members of a captive group of sooty mangabeys investigated their affiliative interactions with group members of varying age and sex. The adult females preferentially affiliated with other adults and interacted less than expected with immature group members. Dyadic frequencies suggested especially frequent affiliation with the three resident adult males, although the pattern of interaction with each male was distinct and apparently was related to age and dominance status of the males. Females of the alpha matriline showed significantly greater affiliation with the males than did those of other matrilines, but this preference was not reciprocated by the males. A preference for grooming older group members (some of the matriarchs and the oldest adult male) was also suggested. In consideration of the taxonomic distinctness of the sooty mangabey from the gray-cheeked mangabey, comparison of these results with those available for albigena were made. Few differences were apparent. Comparisons with the affiliative behavior of Papio females also suggested limited differences, despite the apparently isolated position of the sooty mangabey within the tribe Papionini.