Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 375–386 | Cite as

The influence of intergroup competition on the survival and reproduction of female vervet monkeys

  • D. L. Cheney
  • R. M. Seyfarth
Article

Summary

Primate groups are often larger than might be predicted from a consideration of within-group competition alone. Wrangham (1980) has hypothesized that females live in extended kin groups in order to defend food resources against other groups. In contrast, others have argued that predation pressure, rather than intergroup competition, favors sociality. Data gathered over 10 years on a population of free-ranging vervet monkeys provide more support for the food defense hypothesis than for the predation hypothesis, and suggest than female reproductive success can be influenced strongly by intergroup competition.
  1. 1.

    Of the three groups under intensive study, the smallest experienced the least predation, arguing against the hypothesis that large groups have evolved as a defense against predation.

     
  2. 2.

    At least three different measures indicated that larger groups experienced slightly greater infant and juvenile female survival than did smaller groups.

     
  3. 3.

    Larger groups also had larger and better quality ranges than smaller groups. Large groups were more likely to make incursions into the ranges of smaller groups than vice versa, and to expand their ranges at the expense of smaller groups. Perhaps as a result, females in small groups were more aggressive during intergroup encounters than were females in large groups.

     
  4. 4.

    Within groups, rank reversals were influenced by the presence of female kin, and individuals with female kin were able to rise in rank over those without kin. There was no evidence that high-ranking females attempted to suppress the recruitment of daughters by low-ranking females, however, perhaps because groups with many females had a competitive advantage over groups with fewer females.

     
  5. 5.

    Data from a small number of group fusions support the hypothesis that small groups benefit from the recruitment of additional females, particularly in populations in which the average group size is small and mortality is high.

     

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Altmann J, Altmann SA, Hausfater G (1987) Determinants of reproductive success in savannah baboons (Papio cynocephalus). In: Clutton-Brock TH (ed) Reproductive success. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  2. Andelman SJ (1986) Ecological and social determinants of cercopithecine mating patterns. In: Rubenstein DI, Wrangham RW (eds) Ecology and social evolution: Birds and mammals. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 201–216Google Scholar
  3. Boyd R (1982) Density-dependent mortality and the evolution of social interactions. Anim Behav 30:972–982Google Scholar
  4. Bradbury JW, Vehrencamp SL (1977) Social organization and foraging in emballonurid bats. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 2:1–17Google Scholar
  5. Chapais B (1987) Rank maintenance in female Japanese macaques: experimental evidence of social dependency. Behaviour (in press)Google Scholar
  6. Cheney DL (1981) Inter-goup encounters among free-ranging vervet monkeys. Folia Primatol 35:124–146Google Scholar
  7. Cheney DL (1983) Extra-familial alliances among vervet monkeys. In: Hinde RA (ed) Primate social relationships, An integrated approach. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 278–286Google Scholar
  8. Cheney DL (1987) Interactions and relationships between groups. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 267–281Google Scholar
  9. Cheney DL, Lee PC, Seyfarth RM (1981) Behavioral correlates of non-random mortality among free-ranging female vervet monkeys. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:153–161Google Scholar
  10. Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM (1983) Non-random dispersal in free-ranging vervet monkeys: social and genetic consequences. Am Nat 122:392–412Google Scholar
  11. Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Andelman SJ, Lee PC (1987) Reproductive success in vervet monkeys. In: Clutton-Brock TH (ed) Reproductive success. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  12. Cheney DL, Wrangham RW (1987) Predation. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, chicago, pp 227–239Google Scholar
  13. Chepko-Sade BD, Sade DS (1979) Patterns of group splitting within matrilineal kinship groups: a study of social group structure of Macaca mulatta. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 5:67–87Google Scholar
  14. Dittus WPJ (1986) Sex differences in fitness following a group take-over among Toque macaques: testing models of social evolution. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 19:257–266Google Scholar
  15. Dunbar RIM (1979) Population demography, social organization, and mating strategies. In: Bernstein IS, Smith EO (eds) Primate ecology and human organization. Garland Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Dunbar RIM (1984) Reproductive decisions. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  17. Dunbar RIM (1987) Demography and reproduction. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 240–249Google Scholar
  18. Emlen ST, Oring LW (1977) Ecology, sexual selection, and the evolution of mating systems. Science 197:215–223Google Scholar
  19. Fairbanks LA, McGuire MT (1984) Determinants of fecundity and reproductive success in captive vervet monkeys. Am J Primatol 7:27–38Google Scholar
  20. Hauser MD (1987) Behavioral ecology of free-ranging vervet monkeys: Proximate and ultimate levels of explanation. PhD thesis, University of California, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  21. Hauser MD, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM (1986) Group extinction and fusion in free-ranging vervet monkeys. Am J Primatol 11:63–77Google Scholar
  22. Horrocks J, Hunte W (1983) Maternal rank and offspring rank in vervet monkeys: An appraisal of the mechanisms of rank acquisition. Anim Behav 31:772–782Google Scholar
  23. Janson C (1985) Aggressive competition and individual food consumption in wild brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) Behav Ecol Sociobiol 18:125–138Google Scholar
  24. Lee PC (1981) Ecological and social influences on the development of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops). PhD Thesis, Cambridge University, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Lee PC (1983) Context-specific unpredictability in dominance interactions. In: Hinde RA (ed) Primate social relationships: An integrated approach. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 35–44Google Scholar
  26. Koyama N (1979) Changes in dominance rank and kinship of a wild Japanese monkey troop in Arashiyama. Primates 11:335–390Google Scholar
  27. Malik I, Seth PK, Southwick CH (1985) Group fission in free-ranging rhesus monkeys of Tughlaqabad, Northern India. Int J Primatol 6:441–422Google Scholar
  28. Pusey AE, Packer C (1987) Dispersal and philopatry. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 250–266Google Scholar
  29. Schaik CP van (1983) Why are diurnal primates living in groups? Behaviour 87:120–144Google Scholar
  30. Schaik CP van, Noordwijk MA van (1983) Social stress and the sex ratio of neonates and infants among nonhuman primates. Netherlands J Zool 33:249–265Google Scholar
  31. Schaik CP van, Noordwijk MA van, Boer RJ de, Tonkelaar I den (1983) The effect of group size on time budgets and social behavior in wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 13:173–181Google Scholar
  32. Seyfarth RM (1980) The distribution of grooming and related behaviours among adult female vervet monkeys. Anim Behav 28:798–813Google Scholar
  33. Silk JB (1983) Local resource competition and facultative adjustment of sex ratios in relation to competitive abilities. Am Nat 121:56–66Google Scholar
  34. Silk JB (1987a) Social behavior in evolutionary perspective. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 250–266Google Scholar
  35. Silk JB (1987b) The evolution of social conflict among primates. In: Mason WA, Mendoza S (eds) Primate social conflict. In pressGoogle Scholar
  36. Silk JB, Clark-Wheatley CB, Rodman PS, Samuels A (1981) Differential reproductive success and facultative adjustment of sex ratios among captive female bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) Anim Behav 29:1106–1120Google Scholar
  37. Simpson MJA, Simpson AE (1982) Birth sex ratios and social rank in rhesus monkey mothers. Nature 300:440–441Google Scholar
  38. Struhsaker TT (1967a) Ecology of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) in the Masai-Amboseli Game Reserve, Kenya. Ecology 48:891–904Google Scholar
  39. Struhsaker TT (1967b) Social structure among vervet monkeys. Behaviour 29:83–121Google Scholar
  40. Struhsaker TT (1976) A recensus of vervet monkeys in the Masai-Amboseli Game Reserve, Kenya. Ecology 54:930–932Google Scholar
  41. Struhsaker TT (1976) A further decline in numbers of Amboseli vervet monkeys. Biotropica 8:211–214Google Scholar
  42. Terborgh J (1983) Five new world primates. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  43. Terborgh J, Janson C (1986) The socioecology of primate groups. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 17:111–135Google Scholar
  44. Western D (1983) A wildlife guide and an natural history of Amboseli. General Printers, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  45. Whitten PL (1983) Diet and dominance among female vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) Am J Primatol 5:139–159Google Scholar
  46. Wrangham RW (1980) An ecological model of female-bonded primate groups. Behaviour 75:262–300Google Scholar
  47. Wrangham RW (1981) Drinking competition in vervet monkeys. Anim Behav 29:904–910Google Scholar
  48. Wrangham RW (1987) Evolution of social structure. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 282–296Google Scholar
  49. Wrangham RW, Waterman PG (1981) Feeding behaviour of vervet monkeys on A. tortilis and A. xanthophloea: With special reference to reproductive strategies and tannin production. J Anim Ecol 50:715–731Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Cheney
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. M. Seyfarth
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Primate ResearchNational Museums of KenyaNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations