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Keywords:

  • recognition;
  • memory;
  • group membership;
  • primates;
  • playback experiments

Abstract

I tested the hypothesis that free-ranging female mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys) differentiate between males depending on their residence status. Adult males in this species employ two group-membership strategies: they are either full-time residents or part-time residents (i.e., present for several weeks at a time, then gone for several weeks, then present again, etc.). In a playback experiment I tested whether adult females with young infants responded differently to calls of adult males that were group members during the previous mating season as compared to males that belonged to neighboring groups during the mating season or were complete strangers. Males whose calls were played were present residents, part-time residents (absent for at least 3 months), neighbors, or complete strangers. Because infanticide is a potential risk in mangabeys, I predicted that females would respond differently to males that had resided in the group when their infant was conceived than they would to those that had not been present. The females showed a clear difference in their reaction to the playbacks of vocalizations from resident and part-time resident males as opposed to nonresidents. Am. J. Primatol. 65:327–333, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.