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Biol Lett. 2009 June 23; 5(3): 339–342.
Published online 2009 March 11. doi:  10.1098/rsbl.2009.0009
PMCID: PMC2679923

Trade-off between age of first reproduction and survival in a female primate


Trade-offs are central to life-history theory but difficult to document. Patterns of phenotypic and genetic correlations in rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta—a long-lived, slow-reproducing primate—are used to test for a trade-off between female age of first reproduction and adult survival. A strong positive genetic correlation indicates that female macaques suffer reduced adult survival when they mature relatively early and implies primate senescence can be explained, in part, by antagonistic pleiotropy. Contrasts with a similar human study implicate the extension of parental effects to later ages as a potential mechanism for circumventing female life-history trade-offs in human evolution.

Keywords: life history, quantitative genetics, genetic correlation, maturation, senescence, primate

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