Reconciliation in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), a cooperative breeding primate



Reconciliation has been demonstrated in all primate species in which the phenomenon has been studied. However, reconciliation has been studied in only two species of callitrichids, and conclusions remain controversial. The first aim of this study has been to find out whether captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) reconcile, since this is the first such study on this species. We examined 227 conflicts in three family groups (N=19). Instances in which individuals remained together in t=0 (29; 12.8%) were not analyzed. The cotton-top tamarins showed heightened affiliation between opponents in the postconflict periods (PC) compared with matched control (MC) periods (39.88±5.12% and 3.18±1.27%, respectively), with a corrected conciliatory tendency of 37.17±5.37%, and a “time window” that included the first 180 sec of the PC period. Former opponents were the most likely recipient of affiliative behaviors during the PC periods: 39.83±4.26% vs. 11.36±5.33% during MC periods. The proportion of attracted pairs (47.13±6.25%) was significantly higher than those of dispersed pairs for male–male conflicts (3.79±1.79), but not for male–female conflicts (27.31±9.32 and 4.82±2.9, respectively). In cooperative-breeding species, specific sex-class dyads might differ in how they resolve conflicts. Am. J. Primatol. 71:895–900, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.