Male dominance rank and reproductive success in an enclosed group of Japanese macaques: with special reference to post-conception mating
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The mating behaviour and reproductive success of male Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) were studied in relation to the female sexual cycles, which were monitored from the plasma profiles of gonadotropins and ovarian hormones. Based on observations of the mating behaviour during four successive mating seasons and paternity identification by DNA fingerprinting in 35 out of 37 offspring born in the subsequent birth seasons, the correlations between (1) male dominance rank and timing of mating, and (2) male dominance rank and reproductive success were examined. The results may be summarized as follows. (1) The number of copulations with ejaculation by any male was positively correlated with the male dominance rank, but not with the identified numbers of offspring fathered by each male. (2) Males could not choose ovulatory females as mating partners: the number of copulations with ejaculation with females during ovulatory weeks was not related to the male's rank. Monopolized copulations in consortship were mostly observed between high-ranking males and non-lactating parous females after conception. (3) Paternity testing showed that the male copulating most frequently with a female was not the identified father in 11 out of 15 cases. Prediction of the fathers of offspring was difficult even from the number of copulations occurring at around the estimated time of ovulation. An adaptive explanation of these correlations is discussed.
Key WordsJapanese macaque Paternity test Mating behaviour Hormonal status Estimated ovulation DNA fingerprinting
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