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Affiliation tactics prior to a period of competition in captive groups of stumptail macaques

, : Affiliation tactics prior to a period of competition in captive groups of stumptail macaques. Ethology Ecology & Evolution 5(4): 435-446

We show that, subjected to predictable daily routines, captive stumptail macaques adjust their affiliative interactions as if maximizing the benefits of a particular relationship. For 8 months the frequency of diurnal social grooming interactions and competition to groom a third party was recorded in two stumptail groups. From 08:00 to 18:30 hr, 22 daily samples were obtained (one every 30 min). During these sampling periods each cage was scanned, and all grooming interactions were recorded. Although there were no significant differences in the intra-group distribution of grooming, when comparing grooming during the pre-mealtime period with the post-mealtime period, we found that alpha males were particularly attractive prior to feeding time. These daily variations in grooming patterns suggest that stumptails foresee competitive situations, and used an affiliative tactic, seemingly in order to strengthen coalitions with powerful individuals.


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