, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 461-476

First online:

Age-related and individual differences of reproductive success in male and female barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)

  • Jutta KuesterAffiliated withAbteilung Funktionelle Morphologie, Ruhr Universität Bochum
  • , Andreas PaulAffiliated withInstitut für Anthropologie der Universität Göttingen
  • , Joachim ArnemannAffiliated withInstitut für Humangenetik, Klinikum der Universität Frankfurt

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Age-related and individual differences in longterm reproductive success were analyzed in two social groups of free-ranging Barbary macaques. Maternity data were obtained from continuous birth records and paternity was determined with oligonucleotide-fingerprinting. The fathers of 246 of 286 investigated individuals could be identified. They were born during a 14-year period and represented 73 and 34% of all known offspring from the females of the study groups B/F and C, respectively. Only these infants were considered when comparing male reproductive success with that of females. The necessary adjustment of the female data resulted in small deviations from the true values in one group, but substantially increased individual differences in female fertility in the second group. Subadult males, 4.5 – 6.5 yrs old, had a much lower reproductive success than adult males (7.5 – 25 yrs old) and same-aged females. Reproductive success of adult males was not significantly affected by age, while females invariably ceased reproduction during the first half of the third decade of life. Males were more likely than females to leave no offspring, unless they survived 9 – 10 yrs of age. The number of years with breeding opportunities was important for male reproductive success but less significant than that for females. Reproductive success of several males during the 14-year study period was similar to or even exceeded that possible for a female in her whole lifetime. Variance of male reproductive success significantly exceeded that of females in both study groups.

Key Words

Macaca sylvanus DNA-fingerprinting Paternity Age Reproductive success