, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 539–542 | Cite as

Allogrooming as mutualism in diurnal lemurs

  • R. A. Barton
Short Communication


Recent work on allogrooming in Primates has demonstrated the value of considering both its physical and its social aspects. Most studies have been conducted on anthropoid primates only. Here, the grooming interactions of anthropoids and those of diurnal lemurs are contrasted, with special reference to their mutuality. It is shown that lemur grooming appears more intimate and has a far greater component of mutuality than is the case among anthropoids. It is argued that the latter finding reflects a difference between the two taxa in the forms of their agonistic interactions: in anthropoid primates, grooming is thought to be related to patterns of agonistic support in triadic interactions, while in lemurs, agonistic interactions are dyadic and allogrooming is more directly reciprocal.

Key Words

Allogrooming Mutualism Lemurs Anthropoids 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Barton
    • 1
  1. 1.University CollegeLondon

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