International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 131–143 | Cite as

Origin and fate of a one-male savanna babbon group formed by fissioning

  • William J. HamiltonIII
  • John Bulger


An adult male chacma baboon,Papio hamadryas ursinus, emigrated from his habituated natal group at age 100 months and joined a neighboring multimale-multifemale group. Subsequently this male, together with eight adult females, all with infants <1 year old, formed a one-male group (OMU). The male was the only adult male in this group for over 200 days. Circumstantial evidence shows that shared parentage of the infants with this male determined which females joined the new group. In addition, 10 juveniles younger than 4.5 years joined the new group. Based upon persistent close physical association, especially at sleeping sites, these juveniles were presumed to be the older independent progeny of the eight adult females. Thus, the founding elements of the new group were the adult male and partial matrilines—mothers, their infants, and their independent juvenile offspring. The OMU status of the group ended with the sequential intrusion of three males known to be low ranking in other groups. The first of these intruders was successful in joining the OMU in spite of the OMU male's earlier successes in rebuffing this and other potentially high-ranking males. Six additional males later entered the fission group during a 6-month interval. Two of them outranked the original male. All additional males present in the last 100 days of observations came from the same group, which was not the group of origin of the females.

Key Words

baboon one-male group fissioning matriline paternity 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. HamiltonIII
    • 1
  • John Bulger
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, DavisDavis

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