Post-Conflict Affiliation in Barbary Macaques is Influenced by Conflict Characteristics and Relationship Quality, but Does Not Diminish Short-Term Renewed Aggression

Authors

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum Volume 116, Issue 3, 281, Article first published online: 18 February 2010

Julia Fischer, Cognitive Ethology Lab, German Primate Center, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
E-mail: fischer@cog-ethol.de

Abstract

Many group living primates have evolved mechanisms to repair their social relationships after conflicts (‘reconciliation’). We analysed the post-conflict behaviour of female Barbary macaques, Macaca sylvanus, living in the enclosure ‘La Forêt des Singes’ at Rocamadour, France. Based on a sample of 914 conflicts, we investigated whether relationship (kinship, rank, affiliation, support and sex) and conflict characteristics (conflict intensity, context and duration) affected the quality and frequency of affiliative post-conflict interactions. Thirty-two per cent of all conflicts were followed by post-conflict affiliation. Rates of socio-positive interactions and support were better predictors of post-conflict affiliation than kinship or rank. Short conflicts were followed by post-conflict affiliation relatively more frequently, after a shorter latency, but only briefly, and such interactions were initiated by both parties equally frequently. The majority of affiliative post-conflict interactions occurred immediately after the end of the conflict. In sum, female Barbary macaques invest more in post-conflict affiliation with valuable partners, and they modulate their post-conflict behaviour in relation to conflict characteristics. Remarkably, affiliative post-conflict interactions increased the short-term probability of renewed aggression by the former aggressor to 16% compared with 9% for conflicts that were not followed by affiliative behaviour. Such renewed aggression after post-conflict affiliation occurred particularly frequently among females and after conflicts over food, suggesting that post-conflict affiliation sometimes falsely lures the former victim to stay in the vicinity, even at the risk of receiving renewed aggression.

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