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Keywords:

  • allogrooming;
  • friendship;
  • dominance;
  • sociality index;
  • cooperation

Abstract

In captivity, male bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) frequently express “friendship” toward one another, including affiliative behavior such as huddling, grooming, coalitionary support, and sitting in close proximity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether wild adult male bonnet macaques also express “friendship” by investigating whether or not (1) adult male bonnet macaques have affiliative social relationships with other males, (2) the strength of social relationships varies among dyads, (3) there is time-matched reciprocity in allogrooming among dyads, and if so, whether the level of reciprocity occurs within a bout of grooming, a day, or over 2 months (the limit of this study), and (4) a correlation exists between the strength of social relationships and dominance ranks among adult males. Focal samples totaling 150 hr on all seven adult males in one study group were conducted to record both agonistic and affiliative interactions. Agonistic interactions were used to construct a dominance hierarchy, whereas affiliative interactions (sitting in proximity to within 1 m with and without grooming) were used to quantify the existence and strength of social bonds within dyads. Results show that adult male bonnet macaques had differentiated affiliative relationships with other males in their group. There was little reciprocity of grooming within a bout of grooming or within a day, but greater reciprocity over the study period of 2 months. There was no correlation between dominance ranking distance and the strength of affiliative relationship within dyads; however, within dyads lower-ranking males groomed higher-ranking males more than vice versa. This study suggests that friendships in male bonnet macaques are characterized not by immediate tit-for-tat reciprocal altruism, but by reciprocity over a longer time span, and that affiliative social relationships may be less constrained by agonistic relationships than is the case in more despotic species of macaques. Am. J. Primatol. 73:1107–1113, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.