Human Evolution

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 279–296 | Cite as

Infanticide and juvenilicide in Hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus) around Jodhpur, India

  • G. Agoramoorthy
  • S. M. Mohnot
Article

Abstract

Ten cases of infant killings and 2 cases of juvenile killings were observed in two troops of Hanuman langurs, (Presbytis entellus) around Jodhpur, India. Fatal attacks on infants and juveniles are classified into four categories. The process of infanticide was observed from start to end and is described in detail for 3 cases. The age of the victims ranged from 0.2 to 48 months. The interbirth interval among females whose infants were killed is significantly shorter compared to females whose infants survived. In ourt study, 7 cases support the reproductive advantage hypothesis, that infanticide is an adaptive behaviour to increase male reproductive success. The remaining 5 cases do not fit into the reproductive advantage hypothesis. In these cases, victims are over 8 months old, and as such their deaths could not shorten the interbirth interval. It appears that by killing older infants and juveniles the males obtain an advantage in resource competition for their offspring. An alternative is that new males chase or peripheralise the older infants and juveniles, which leads to 97% predominant uni-male troop structure in Jodhpur.

Key words

Infanticide Juvenilicide Langur Jodhpur 

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Copyright information

© Editrice Il Sedicesimo 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Agoramoorthy
    • 1
  • S. M. Mohnot
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of JodhpurJodhpurIndia

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