Reproductive Coordination in a Nonseasonally Breeding Primate Species, Macaca silenus

Authors

  • A. S. Clarke PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego
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      Clarke, A. S., Harvey, N. C. & Lindburg, D. G. 1992: Reproductive coordination in a nonseasonally breeding primate species, Macaca silenus. Ethology 91, 46–58.

  • N. C. Harvey,

    1. Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego
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      Clarke, A. S., Harvey, N. C. & Lindburg, D. G. 1992: Reproductive coordination in a nonseasonally breeding primate species, Macaca silenus. Ethology 91, 46–58.

  • D. G. Lindburg

    1. Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego
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      Clarke, A. S., Harvey, N. C. & Lindburg, D. G. 1992: Reproductive coordination in a nonseasonally breeding primate species, Macaca silenus. Ethology 91, 46–58.


Harlow Primate Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, 22 N. Charter St., Madison, WI 53715, U.S.A.

Abstract

Varying types of reproductive coordination among females have been described for several mammals. Among nonhuman primates, female reproductive coordination has usually been described as breeding seasonality, or in few cases, closer synchrony within the breeding or birth season. We examined birth records from a large captive colony of lion-tailed macaques, Macaca silenus, a nonseasonally breeding species, in order to determine the degree of female reproductive synchrony in this population. Births were nonrandomly distributed over the 10-year study period. Of the total of 28 births, the majority (21 or 75 %) of births occurred in cohorts, in spite of wide variations in interbirth intervals among cohort birth mothers. Cohorts consisted of two to five infants born within a 90-d period or less. Of the remaining 7 “isolated” births, four were in the three years in which only one or two births occurred. The pattern of cohort births was nonrandomly distributed according to mother's parity: three of the isolated births were to primiparous mothers, whereas only one of the 21 cohort births was to a primiparous mother. Estrous synchrony results showed that females in the longer-established of two groups exhibited greater synchrony, suggesting social facilitation of reproductive coordination. It is thus suggested that synchrony in this sample was the result of social rather than ecological mechanisms, as has been hypothesized for some other mammalian species.

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