Advertisement

Primates

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 279–284 | Cite as

Observed infanticides following a male immigration event in black howler monkeys, Alouatta pigra, at Palenque National Park, Mexico

  • Sarie Van BelleEmail author
  • Aimee E. Kulp
  • Robyn Thiessen-Bock
  • Marisol Garcia
  • Alejandro Estrada
News and Perspectives

Abstract

This study describes two cases of directly observed and one case of nearly observed infanticide after an adult male immigrated into a multimale–multifemale group of black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) at Palenque National Park, Mexico. The immigrant male entered the group alone, injured the central adult male, presumably evicted the noncentral adult male, and killed all three young infants present over the course of three consecutive days in February 2010. Three weeks after the infanticide events, the three adult females who lost their infants were observed to sexually solicit and copulate with both the infanticidal male and the injured central male. Multimale mating is an effective reproductive strategy that females employ to confuse paternity and reduce the risk of infanticide, but the extent to which promiscuous mating after infanticide events is part of a counterstrategy in this species is still unknown. More cases of infanticide will need to be observed to assess the degree to which infanticide avoidance shapes the social system of the black howler monkey.

Keywords

Infanticide Black howler monkey (Alouatta pigraReproductive strategies Male immigration 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Mexican government (CONANP) for granting AE the permission to perform research at Palenque National Park. We also thank Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) for logistic, administrative, and financial support. David Muñoz kindly provided the picture taken during the third infanticide event (Fig. 1c). Dr. Eckhard Heymann and an anonymous reviewer provided helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

References

  1. Agoramoorthy G, Hsu MJ (2000) Extragroup copulation among wild red howler monkeys in Venezuela. Folia Primatol 71:147–151CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Agoramoorthy G, Rudran R (1995) Infanticide by adult and subadult males in free-ranging red howler monkeys, Alouatta seniculus, in Venezuela. Ethology 99:75–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aguiar LM, Ludwig G, Hilst CLS, Malanski LS, Passos FC (2005) Tentativa de infanticidio por um macho dominante de Alouatta caraya (Humboldt) (Primates, Atelidae) em um infante extra-grupo devido a influêcia do observador. Rev Bras Zool 22:1201–1203Google Scholar
  4. Brockett RC, Horwich RH, Jones CB (1999) Disappearance of infants following male takeovers in the Belizean black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra). Neotrop Primates 7:86–88Google Scholar
  5. Brockett RC, Horwich RH, Jones CB (2000) Female dispersal in the Belizean black howling monkey (Alouatta pigra). Neotrop Primates 8:32–34Google Scholar
  6. Crockett CM (2003) Re-evaluating the sexual selection hypothesis for infanticide by Alouatta males. In: Jones CB (ed) Sexual selection and reproductive competition in primates: new perspectives and directions. American Society of Primatologists, Norman, pp 327–365Google Scholar
  7. Crockett CM, Janson CH (2000) Infanticide in red howlers: female group size, male membership, and a possible link to folivory. In: van Schaik CP, Janson CH (eds) Infanticide by males and its implications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 75–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crockett CM, Pope TR (1993) Consequences of sex differences in dispersal for juvenile red howler monkeys. In: Pereira ME, Fairbanks LA (eds) Juvenile primates: life history, development and behavior. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 104–118Google Scholar
  9. da Cunha RGT, Byrne RW (2009) The use of vocal communication in keeping the spatial cohesion of groups: intentionality and specific functions. In: Garber PA, Estrada A, Bicca-Marques JC, Heyman EW, Strier KB (eds) South American primates: comparative perspectives in the study of behavior, ecology, and conservation. Springer, New York, pp 341–363Google Scholar
  10. Díaz Gallegos JR (1996) Estructura y composición floristico de la vegetación del Parque Nacional Zona Arqueológica de Palenque, Chiapas, México (B.Sc. thesis). Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  11. Estrada A, Castellanos L, Ibarra A, Garcia del Valle Y, Muñoz D, Rivera A, Franco B, Fuentes E, Jimenez C (2002) Survey of the population of the black howler monkey, Alouatta pigra, at the Mayan site of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico. Primates 44:51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fialho MS, Setz EZF (2007) Extragroup copulations among brown howler monkeys in southern Brazil. Neotrop Primates 14:28–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hausfater G, Hrdy SB (eds) (1984) Infanticide: comparative and evolutionary perspectives. Aldine, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Henzi SP, Clarke PMR, van Schaik CP, Pradhan GR, Barrett L (2010) Infanticide and reproductive restraint in a polygynous social mammal. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:2130–2135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Horwich RH (1983) Breeding behaviors in the black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) of Belize. Primates 24:222–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hrdy SB (1979) Infanticide among animals: a review, classification, and examination of the implications for the reproductive strategies of females. Ethol Sociobiol 1:13–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Izawa K (1997) Social changes within a group of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), VI. Field Stud Fauna Flora La Macarena Colombia 11:19–34Google Scholar
  18. Janson CH, van Schaik CP (2000) The behavioral ecology of infanticide by males. In: van Schaik CP, Janson CH (eds) Infanticide by males and its implications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 469–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Knopff KH, Knopff ARA, Pavelka MSM (2004) Observed case of infanticide committed by a resident male Central American black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra). Am J Primatol 63:239–244Google Scholar
  20. Kowalewski MM, Garber PA (2010) Mating promiscuity and reproductive tactics in female black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya) inhabiting an island on the Parana River, Argentina. Am J Primatol 72:734–748Google Scholar
  21. Morelli TL, King SJ, Pochron ST, Wright PC (2009) The rules of disengagement: takeovers, infanticide, and dispersal in a rainforest lemur, Propithecus edwardsi. Behav 146:499–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Palombit RA (2000) Infanticide and the evolution of male–female bonds in animals. In: van Schaik CP, Janson CH (eds) Infanticide by males and its implications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 239–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pope TR (1990) The reproductive consequences of male cooperation in the red howler monkey: paternity exclusion in multi-male and single-male troops using genetic markers. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 27:439–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pope TR (2000) Reproductive success increases with degree of kinship in cooperative coalitions of female red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 48:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pradhan GR, van Schaik C (2008) Infanticide-driven intersexual conflict over matings in primates and its effects on social organization. Behaviour 145:251–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rees A (2009) The infanticide controversy: primatology and the art of field science. Univ Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  27. Sterck EHM, Korstjens AH (2000) Female dispersal and infanticide avoidance in primates. In: van Schaik C, Janson CH (eds) Infanticide by males and its implications. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, pp 293–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Treves A, Drescher A, Snowdon CT (2003) Maternal watchfulness in black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra). Ethology 109:135–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Van Belle S (2009) Social and hormonal mechanisms underlying male reproductive strategies in black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) (Ph.D. dissertation). University of Wisconsin-Madison, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  30. Van Belle S, Estrada A (2006) Demographic features of Alouatta pigra populations in extensive and fragmented forests. In: Estrada A, Garber PA, Pavelka M, Luecke L (eds) New perspectives in the study of Mesoamerican primates: distribution, ecology and conservation. Springer, New York, pp 121–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Van Belle S, Estrada A, Strier KB (2008) Social relationships among male Alouatta pigra. Int J Primatol 29:1481–1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Van Belle S, Estrada A, Ziegler TE, Strier KB (2009a) Social and hormonal mechanisms underlying male reproductive strategies in black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra). Horm Behav 56:355–363CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Van Belle S, Estrada A, Ziegler TE, Strier KB (2009b) Sexual behavior across ovarian cycles in wild black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra): male mate guarding and female mate choice. Am J Primatol 71:153–164CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. van Schaik CP, Janson CH (eds) (2000) Infanticide by males and its implications. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Weingrill T (2000) Infanticide and the value of male–female relationships in mountain chacma baboons. Behaviour 137:337–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wolff JO, Macdonald DW (2004) Promiscuous females protect their offspring. Trends Ecol Evol 19:127–134CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Zinner D, Deschner T (2000) Sexual swellings in female hamadryas baboons after male take-overs: “deceptive” swellings as a possible female counter-strategy against infanticide. Am J Primatol 52:157–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarie Van Belle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aimee E. Kulp
    • 2
  • Robyn Thiessen-Bock
    • 2
  • Marisol Garcia
    • 2
  • Alejandro Estrada
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Estación de Biología Tropical Los Tuxtlas, Instituto de BiologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMéxico

Personalised recommendations