Article

Primates

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 365-393

Social behaviour of stump-tailed macaques in captivity

  • Nicholas G. Blurton JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Growth and Development Institute of Child Health, University of London
  • , Jeffrey TrollopeAffiliated withDepartment of Growth and Development Institute of Child Health, University of London

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Abstract

Facial expressions and gestures seen in eight wild caught adult and three laboratory born stump-tailed macaques are described. Systematic observations, designed to show the association of these with attack, fleeing, grooming, or copulating are reported. The behaviour is in general very similar to that of other macaques.

However, we find that Presenting and Lipsmacking are given by animals who are likely to win or lose fights and are shown to babies. These are clearly not just appeasing in function (reducing attack) but also reassuring (reducing fleeing). Two forms of “non-sexual” Presenting were found to follow and lead to different behaviour. Copulation appears to be different from that described in rhesus, ejaculation occuring on each mounting, which last for around one minute. In our animals the males bit the females during the later stages of copulation, but seldom showed any signs of aggression when not mounting.

Grin-lipsmacking (lipsmacking with lips retracted exposing the teeth) is associated with fleeing, with changing from fighting to grooming and with copulation. A link between these situations may be provided earlier in development by the observation that mothers comfort frightened, Grin-lipsmacking babies by manipulating the external genitalia.