Male rank and reproductive activity in Savanna baboons
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- Bercovitch, F.B. Int JPrimatol (1986) 7: 533. doi:10.1007/BF02736660
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Access to sexually receptive baboon females has been linked to male dominance rank. An intensive 19-month field study of mate choice and mate competition among savanna baboons was undertaken in order to elucidate those factors influencing mating success. During this study, male agonistic rank was not correlated with male mating success among adult males. However, the inclusion of adolescent males into the analysis yielded significant correlations between rank and mating success. Examination of prior fieldwork revealed that no baboon field study has conclusively demonstrated a significant correlation between male rank and reproduction among adult males. Most studies reporting a correlation between male rank and reproduction have included subadult males in the analysis. It is concluded that male rank is an unreliable predictor of male reproductive activity among adult male baboons. A low agonistic rank need not reduce male mating success because adult male baboons utilize a variety of reproductive tactics in gaining access to consort females.