Female social structure influences, and is influenced by, male introduction and integration success among captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Krishna N. Balasubramaniam, Brianne A. Beisner, Brenda Mccowan, Mollie A. Bloomsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Animal social structure is influenced by multiple socioecological factors. Of these, the links between changes to group demography through the arrival of new individuals and residents' social structure remain unclear. Across seven groups of captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), we examine how male introductions may be influenced by, and in-turn influence, aspects of female social structure. GLMMs revealed that males integrated more successfully into groups in which females showed more 'despotic' social structures, i.e., higher aggression rates, steeper dominance hierarchies, and greater rank-skew in allogrooming network connectedness. Yet during periods that followed males' social integration, females increased their social tolerance (decreased aggression and shallower hierarchies) and group cohesivity (less clustered allogrooming networks), but retained their tendencies to groom dominants. Our findings, independent of group size and matrilineal relatedness, help better understand how dispersal/immigration may influence social structure, and how assessing changes to social structure may inform macaque welfare and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehaviour
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • allogrooming networks
  • demographic changes
  • dominance interactions
  • male social integration
  • primate females
  • primate welfare and management
  • rhesus macaques
  • social structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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