, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 198–210 | Cite as

Ecological determinism in the life histories of baboons

  • Joseph L. Popp


An evolutionary model is presented for the covariation of parameters in ecology, behavior, morphology and social organization observed in interpopulational comparisons of baboons. Ecological determinants, in particular rainfall, shape the optimal life history strategies of individuals within a local population, in terms of the distribution of time and energy for reproductive effort, growth and maintenance. The results are adaptations in body mass, sexual dimorphism and aggression among baboons that are significantly correlated with rainfall. The three common types of baboon social organization, one-male units, multi-male troops and age-graded groups, are discussed as the consequences of male and female life history strategies, and in turn as social environments generating their own selection pressures.


Social Organization Life History Evolutionary Model Local Population Selection Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph L. Popp
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

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