International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 51–68

Reproductive Parameters and Maternal Investment in Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx)

  • Joanna M. Setchell
  • Phyllis C. Lee
  • E. Jean Wickings
  • Alan F. Dixson

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013245707228

Cite this article as:
Setchell, J.M., Lee, P.C., Wickings, E.J. et al. International Journal of Primatology (2002) 23: 51. doi:10.1023/A:1013245707228


We report on 14 years of reproductive data for semifree-ranging mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) in Gabon, and we explore relationships between female rank, age and parity, and reproductive strategies. Most births (61% of 132) occurred during the wet season in Gabon, between January and March. Female rank and parity were unrelated to the timing of parturition. Gestation lengths average 175 days (SE = ±1 day; N = 61) and were similar irrespective of female rank, parity, or sex of offspring. Birth sex ratio did not differ significantly from unity (52% male), and was unrelated to maternal rank or parity. Stillbirths and neonatal mortality tended to be more common among lower-ranking females than among either mid-ranking or dominant females. Median age at first birth is 4.71 years, at a median body mass of 7.6 kg, ca 5 years before females attain their adult body mass (median 12 kg). Age at first reproduction is significantly correlated with dominance rank, with dominant females giving birth on average 1.3 years earlier than lower-ranking females do. Interbirth intervals (IBI) average 405 days (range 184–1159 days, N = 103), and are independent of the sex of the offspring. Infant death within 6 months shortened IBI to 305 days. Increasing age and parity are also associated with short IBI, as is higher rank. Maternal rank and parity appear to influence reproductive success in female mandrills, but there is no apparent differential maternal investment by sex.

sex ratio age-specific fecundity interbirth intervals status parity Mandrillus sphinx 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna M. Setchell
    • 1
  • Phyllis C. Lee
    • 2
  • E. Jean Wickings
    • 3
  • Alan F. Dixson
    • 4
  1. 1.Sub-Department of Animal BehaviourUniversity of CambridgeMadingley, CambridgeU.K
  2. 2.Department of Biological AnthropologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeU.K
  3. 3.Centre International de Recherches MédicalesFrancevilleGabon
  4. 4.Centre for the Reproduction of Endangered SpeciesZoological Society of San DiegoSan Diego

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