, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 143–158

Why dominants do not consistently attain high mating and reproductive success: A review of longitudinal Japanese macaque studies

  • Yukio Takahata
  • Michael A. Huffman
  • Shigeru Suzuki
  • Naoki Koyama
  • Juichi Yamagiwa

DOI: 10.1007/BF02557707

Cite this article as:
Takahata, Y., Huffman, M.A., Suzuki, S. et al. Primates (1999) 40: 143. doi:10.1007/BF02557707


There is wide interest in the effects of reproductive biology, mating partner preference, and rank on mating success (MS) and reproductive success (RS) in primates. In particular, theory stresses importance on the mechanisms for attaining RS. Most theory hedges on competitive ability and priority of access to resources, whether they be food or estrous females. However, the majority of data used in favor of such hypotheses come from relatively short-term studies. We review these hypotheses based on long-term data from provisioned and unprovisioned populations of Japanese macaques. Neither MS nor RS were consistently attained by high-ranking males and females. For males, female choice and mating partner preference is seen to over-ride most male-male competitive behaviors likely to affect MS and RS through priority of access to estrous females. Long-term mating patterns driven largely by female partner preferences, results in decreasing MS and RS for older higher-ranking males. The long-term trend for females to prefer less familiar or novel partners results in higher MS and RS for younger, middle-ranking males. The effects of this vary according to troop size and the duration of male tenure. For females, no consistent trend was recognized for rank related RS in either provisioned or unprovisioned troops. Non-reproductive mating may provide differential benefit to high-ranking females for access to limited food resources in some habitats but overall the relationship was inconclusive. Distribution and defendability of food resource, rather than provisioning per se may be more important.

Key Words

Reproductive seasonalityNon-ovulatory estrusPromiscuityPartner preferenceMate choiceCompetitionLong-term studiesUnprovisioned

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukio Takahata
    • 1
  • Michael A. Huffman
    • 2
  • Shigeru Suzuki
    • 3
  • Naoki Koyama
    • 4
  • Juichi Yamagiwa
    • 5
  1. 1.Kwansei Gakuin UniversitySanda, HyogoJapan
  2. 2.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyama, AichiJapan
  3. 3.Kyoto UniversitySakyo, KyotoJapan
  4. 4.The Center for African Area StudiesKyoto UniversitySakyo, KyotoJapan
  5. 5.Kyoto UniversitySakyo, KyotoJapan