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Biology Letters (3)
Schaffner, Colleen M (1)
Schino, Gabriele (1)
Yates, Kerrie (1)
Year of Publication
Distress prevention by grooming others in crested black macaques
Allogrooming is probably one of the most common and most studied social behaviours in a variety of animals. Whereas the short-term benefits for the groomee have often been investigated, little is known about the effects for the groomer. Our study focused on the short-term effects of grooming another group member in seven adult female crested black macaques (Macaca nigra). We found reductions in self-directed behaviour, an indicator of anxiety, and aggressive tendencies soon after grooming, when compared to matched-control periods. These findings can be interpreted as evidence of distress prevention, possibly mediated by an increase in tolerance. Indeed, a former groomee was more likely to be the nearest neighbour of the former groomer in the 10 min after grooming ended. Thus, the role of grooming in short-term distress alleviation can be applicable to the groomer as well as the groomee. These short-term effects, together with the longer-term effects of large and/or strong grooming networks confirm that grooming, as well as receiving grooming, has great importance for social dynamics.
aggression; grooming; scratching; stress; tolerance
Grooming reciprocation among female primates: a meta-analysis
The theory of reciprocal altruism offers an explanation for the evolution of altruistic behaviours among unrelated animals. Among primates, grooming is one of the most common altruistic behaviours. Primates have been suggested to exchange grooming both for itself and for rank-related benefits. While previous meta-analyses have shown that they direct their grooming up the hierarchy and exchange it for agonistic support, no comprehensive evaluation of grooming reciprocation has been made. Here we report on a meta-analysis of grooming reciprocation among female primates based on 48 social groups belonging to 22 different species and 12 genera. The results of this meta-analysis showed that female primates groom preferentially those group mates that groom them most. To the extent allowed by the availability of kinship data, this result holds true when controlling for maternal kinship. These results, together with previous findings, suggest that primates are indeed able to exchange grooming both for itself and for different rank-related benefits.
reciprocation; altruism; grooming; primates
Aggression and conflict management at fusion in spider monkeys
Schaffner, Colleen M
In social systems characterized by a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics, members of a large community are rarely all together, spending most of their time in smaller subgroups with flexible membership. Although fissioning into smaller subgroups is believed to reduce conflict among community members, fusions may create conflict among individuals from joining subgroups. Here, we present evidence for aggressive escalation at fusion and its mitigation by the use of embraces in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Our findings provide the first systematic evidence for conflict management at fusion and may have implications for the function of human greetings.
aggression; conflict; embrace; fission–fusion; greeting; grooming
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