The expression of aggression in old world monkeys
- Cite this article as:
- Bernstein, I., Williams, L. & Ramsay, M. Int J Primatol (1983) 4: 113. doi:10.1007/BF02743753
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The expression of agonistic behavior in adult and juvenile members of both sexes was studied in groups of from 23 to 93 animals representing Macaca mulatta, M. arctoides, M. nemestrina, M. nigra, and Cercocebus atys. Data were collected using focal animal techniques over a period of 1 year for each group. Adult male biting was notably infrequent in all cases, and adult male participation in agonistic encounters was less frequent than for any other age-sex class, especially in the groups with the highest agonistic rates. Adult male agonistic behavior was often expressed as aggression but seldom involved contact forms of aggression, and biting constituted the smallest proportion of contact aggression for all age-sex classes. Adult males were also seldom the targets of aggression and had the highest rates for shaking of objects and bouncing displays. A tendency for the most severe forms of aggressive expression to be most frequent in those animals least capable of inflicting injury was noted in all groups, along with a tendency for aggression to be directed toward immature animals. Sex differences in aggressive expression and responses to aggression were noted, but the frequency of receipt of aggression was not directly reflected in the wounding noted. Different means to achieve the same consequence, infrequent adult male damaging attacks, are suggested to operate in the several groups studied.