, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 557–563 | Cite as

Evidence for sexually selected infanticide in captiveCercopithecus mitis, Cercocebus torquatus, andMandrillus leucophaeus

  • Michael Böer
  • Volekr Sommer
Short Communication


Adult resident males of one-male-multi-female primate groups housed at the Hannover Zoo exhibited aggression, when confronted with nonadult individuals, which were fathered by other males: (1) a new adult resident male in a group of blue monkeys killed a 5.8-month-old female infant: (2) a new adult resident male in a group of white collared mangabeys injured a 24.0-month-old female and an 18.9-month-old male severely; they would have died without veterinary care; and (3) the resident male of a group of drills threatened an 1.8-month-old foreign female infant seriously; efforts to introduce the infant were discontinued. Pathological explanations are unlikely because the adult males showed no aggression towards own nonadult offspring under the same captive conditions. By and large, the events support the theory that infanticide is the result of sexual selection among males.

Key Words

Cercopithecus mitis Cercocebus torquatus Mandrillus leucophaeus Infanticide Sexual selection 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Böer
    • 2
  • Volekr Sommer
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität GöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Zoologischer Garten der Landeshauptstadt HannoverHannoverGermany

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