, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 437-452

Mate selection, consortship formation, and reproductive tactics in adult female savanna baboons

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Mate selection is a proximate mechanism influencing the probability that two individuals will engage in reproductive activity. The degree to which mate selection by female savanna baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis) affects consortship formation and the characteristics of males that they prefer to mate with were analyzed based upon a 19-month study in Kenya. Sexual solicitations by females had a positive impact on the probability that males would establish consort relationships. The most preferred mating partners were young, high ranking, newcomer males, but these same males did not have the highest mating success. Friendships between male and female baboons almost always developed subsequent to conception cycles. Female savanna baboon reproductive tactics appear to be based upon maximizing the probability that males will provide care for offspring.