, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 21-56

Sociological study of a wild group of hybrid baboons betweenPapio anubis andP. hamadryas in the Awash Valley, Ethiopia

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Abstract

A group of hybrid baboons between anubis and hamadryas named the Gorge group was studied for five months in the Awash Valley, Ethiopia. Both morphologically and genetically, anubis features were prevalent in the Gorge group. Three types of subgroups within the group were distinguished: one-male groups, pair groups, and multi-male groups. The joining and parting of subgroups is examined by cluster-analysis. The Gorge group is concluded to be a single social unit, though it was composed of two main clusters. Grooming relations, spacing mechanisms, and sexual relations among its members were analyzed in detail. The dominance relationships among males are clarified in order to be related with their social interactions. Various aspects of the social organization are compared with those of anubis or hamadryas. It is demonstrated that the social structure of the Gorge group showed an intricate mixture of anubis and hamadryas characteristics. It is discussed how such a structure had been formed through hybridization, and what were the factors causing the differences among three types of subgroups.