International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 321-336

First online:

Postconflict Behavior Among Male Japanese Macaques

  • Bonaventura MajoloAffiliated withSchool of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores UniversitySchool of Biological and Earth Sciences Email author 
  • , Raffaella VenturaAffiliated withScottish Primate Research Group, School of Social and Health Sciences – Division of Psychology, University of Abertay Dundee
  • , Nicola KoyamaAffiliated withSchool of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University

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Reconciliation was first described more than 20 years ago. Since then, it has been observed in many mammals (mainly primates) but data on postconflict behavior among males are still scarce because they usually aggressively compete for mating partners, rarely maintain amicable relationships with one another. Accordingly, reconciliation is expected to occur at low rates. Although this is true for Japanese macaque males, the subspecies on Yakushima Island (Macaca fuscata yakui) seems to represent an exception as grooming among males occurs often. We analyzed postconflict behavior among them and discuss the possible factors that may favor the occurrence of grooming and reconciliation. Selective attraction between former opponents—reconciliation—occurred soon after conflicts. Consolation—affiliative interactions between a focal animal and group members other than the former opponents occurring earlier in PCs than in MCs—was absent among males. Conciliatory tendency is higher for Yakushima macaque males (0.31) versus that in studies on the other subspecies Macaca fuscata. We discuss differences in the behavioral ecology of the 2 subspecies, the ecological and social factors that may favor the occurrence of reconciliation, and the possible benefits that males gain from grooming exchange and reconciliation.


Japanese macaque male behavior postconflict behavior reconciliation Yakushima