, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 11-23

The structure of affiliative relations in a primate community: Allogrooming in stumptailed macaques (Macaca arctoides)

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Social grooming in 19 adult stumptailed macaques (a dominant male and 18 females) was studied by focal sampling and scanning methods. Significant individual differences were found with respect to both active and passive grooming intensity, active grooming being a more variable parameter. Individual preferences in partner choice are very strong, but among the factors examined, age was the only one influencing these preferences. Neither social rank nor kinship were significant. The proportion of active and passive contacts shows marked individual differences. Yet, there is a positive association between performed and received grooming. The “extortion hypothesis” is not supported by our results: high-ranking individuals performed on the average more, and received relatively less grooming than low-ranking ones. High grooming performance of the dominants may secure group integrity in species with a “soft” dominance style.