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Keywords:

  • baboon;
  • hybridization;
  • Papio kindae;
  • Papio ursinus;
  • Zambia;
  • genetics

Abstract

The ranges of small kinda (Papio kindae) and much larger grayfooted chacma (P. ursinus griseipes) baboons adjoin in the Kafue National Park, Zambia. In a visual survey of baboons at 48 sites in the Kafue River drainage we found that, contrary to previous reports, groups at the species interface near the town of Ngoma are phenotypically diverse and presumably formed by multigenerational hybridization. Mitochondrial and/or Y-chromosome genetic markers from fecal samples (N=164) collected at 29 sites support this conclusion. Groups with phenotypic signs of a history of hybridization also had taxon-specific mitochondria and Y-haplotypes from both parental species. Although the distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes largely mirrored that of external phenotypes, a significant proportion of male specimens from grayfoot as well as hybrid groups carried kinda Y-chromosomes, and kinda Y-chromosomes were involved in all observed cases of mitochondrial/Y-chromosome discordance. These observations are consistent with, though they do not prove, a population history in which the range of chacmas and the hybrid zone have advanced at the expense of the kinda range. They also suggest that, unexpectedly, kinda male×chacma female matings are much more common than the reciprocal cross in the ancestry of hybrids. We suggest that distinctive male kinda behavior and the “juvenile” appearance of kinda baboons of both sexes, perhaps combined with obstetric difficulties of a small kinda female carrying the large offspring of a chacma male, may account for this bias. Am. J. Primatol. 73:291–303, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.