• Open Access

Social Tolerance in Wild Female Crested Macaques (Macaca nigra) in Tangkoko-Batuangus Nature Reserve, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Authors

  • JULIE DUBOSCQ,

    Corresponding author
    1. Courant Research Centre for the Evolution of Social Behaviour, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany
    2. Department Ecology, Physiology and Ethology, IPHC, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
    • Junior Research Group for Primate Sexual Selection, Reproductive Biology Unit, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
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  • JÉRÔME MICHELETTA,

    1. Junior Research Group for Primate Sexual Selection, Reproductive Biology Unit, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
    2. Department of Psychology, Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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  • MUHAMMAD AGIL,

    1. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor, Indonesia
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  • KEITH HODGES,

    1. Reproductive Biology Unit, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
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  • BERNARD THIERRY,

    1. Department Ecology, Physiology and Ethology, IPHC, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
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  • ANTJE ENGELHARDT

    1. Junior Research Group for Primate Sexual Selection, Reproductive Biology Unit, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
    2. Courant Research Centre for the Evolution of Social Behaviour, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany
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  • Contract grant sponsor: Volkswagen Foundation; contract grant number: I/84 200; contract grant sponsor: Primate Conservation Inc.; contract grant number: PCI 757; contract grant sponsor: Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth; contract grant sponsor: German Research Council; contract grant number: DFG grant no. EN 719/2.

Correspondence to: Julie Duboscq, Junior Research Group for Primate Sexual Selection, Reproductive Biology Unit, German Primate Center, Kellnerweg 4, 37 077 Göttingen, Germany. E-mail: jduboscq@dpz.eu

Abstract

In primates, females typically drive the evolution of the social system and present a wide diversity of social structures. To understand this diversity, it is necessary to document the consistency and/or flexibility of female social structures across and within species, contexts, and environments. Macaques (Macaca sp.) are an ideal taxon for such comparative study, showing both consistency and variation in their social relations. Their social styles, constituting robust sets of social traits, can be classified in four grades, from despotic to tolerant. However, tolerant species are still understudied, especially in the wild. To foster our understanding of tolerant societies and to assess the validity of the concept of social style, we studied female crested macaques, Macaca nigra, under entirely natural conditions. We assessed their degree of social tolerance by analyzing the frequency, intensity, and distribution of agonistic and affiliative behaviors, their dominance gradient, their bared-teeth display, and their level of conciliatory tendency. We also analyzed previously undocumented behavioral patterns in grade 4 macaques: reaction upon approach and distribution of affiliative behavior across partners. We compared the observed patterns to data from other populations of grade 4 macaques and from species of other grades. Overall, female crested macaques expressed a tolerant social style, with low intensity, frequently bidirectional, and reconciled conflicts. Dominance asymmetry was moderate, associated with an affiliative bared-teeth display. Females greatly tolerated one another in close proximity. The observed patterns matched the profile of other tolerant macaques and were outside the range of patterns of more despotic species. This study is the first comprehensive analysis of females’ social behavior in a tolerant macaque species under natural conditions and as such, contributes to a better understanding of macaque societies. It also highlights the relevance of the social style concept in the assessment of the degree of tolerance/despotism in social systems. Am. J. Primatol. 75:361-375, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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