Jan 21, 2017

Charting the neglected West: The social system of Guinea baboons

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Julia FischerDietmar Zinner

Abstract

Primate social systems are remarkably diverse, and thus play a central role in understanding social evolution, including the biological origin of human societies. Although baboons have been prominently featured in this context, historically little was known about the westernmost member of the genus, the Guinea baboon (Papio papio). Here, we summarize the findings from the first years of observations at the field site CRP Simenti in the Niokolo Koba National Park in Senegal. Guinea baboons reveal a nested multi-level social organization, with reproductive units comprising one "primary" male, one to several females, young, and occasionally "secondary" males at the base of the society. Three to five units form "parties," which team up with other parties to form a "gang." Different gangs have largely overlapping home ranges and agonistic interactions between different parties or gangs are rare. Some but not all strongly socially bonded males are highly related, and population genetic and behavioral evidence indicate female-biased dispersal. Females play an important role in intersexual bond formation and maintenance, and female tenure length varies between a few weeks to several years. While the social organization resembles that o...Continue Reading

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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Behavior, Animal
Papio
Harassment, Non-Sexual
West (Direction)
Societies
Site
Primates
Hamadryas <angiosperm>
Structure
Cellular Component Organization

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