International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 83–94 | Cite as

Paternity in Sooty Mangabeys

  • D. A. GustEmail author
  • T. McCaster
  • T. P. Gordon
  • W. F. Gergits
  • N. J. Casna
  • H. M. McClure


We determined paternity for 78 sooty mangabeys [(Cercocebus torquatus atys (Groves, 1978) equivalent to C. atys (Napier and Napier, 1967)], born between 1986 and 1993, using DNA profile analysis. The analysis is based on two independent assays of the genome of each individual via multilocus DNA probes. The mangabeys were members of either a large (n = 98) or a small (n = 18) group. Overall, during two periods of analysis in the large group, higher-ranking males sired more offspring than their lower-ranking counterparts did, though during one period the correlation between dominance rank and reproductive success is not significant. Of the two males in the small group, the alpha male sired all of the offspring during one period. There is a significant correlation between mounts and the number of surviving offspring each male sired in one birth year. Moreover, the same male did not always sire the offspring of a given female from year to year. Behavioral data focusing on male–offspring interactions show that offspring (n = 15) did not preferentially affiliate with their sire and that males affiliated with infants too infrequently for analysis. Thus, in a large sooty mangabey colony: (1) dominance rank generally predicts reproductive success; (2) adult males are not preferentially attracted to their offspring, or infants to their sires; and (3) the same male generally does not sire the offspring of a given female from year to year.

paternity reproductive success dominance rank 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altmann, S. A. (1962). A field study of the sociobiology of rhesus monkeys, Macaca mulatta. Ann N.Y. Acad. Sci. 102: 338-435.Google Scholar
  2. Altmann, J. (1974). Observational study of behavior: Sampling methods. Behavior 49: 227-267.Google Scholar
  3. Altmann, J., Alberts, S., Haines, S., DuBach, J., Muruthi, P., Coote, T., Geffen, E., Cheesman, D. J., Mututua, R. S., Saiyalel, S. N., Wayne, R. K., Lacy, R. C., and Bruford, M. W. (1996). Behavior predicts genetic structure in a wild primate group. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93: 5797-5801.Google Scholar
  4. Berard, J. D. (1990). Life History Patterns of Male Rhesus Macaques, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oregon.Google Scholar
  5. Berard, J. D., Nurnberg, P., Epplen, J. T., and Schmidtke, J. (1993). Male rank, reproductive behavior and reproductive success in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Primates 24: 481-489.Google Scholar
  6. Bercovitch, F. B. (1986). Male rank and reproductive activity in savanna baboons. Int. J. Primatol. 7: 533-550.Google Scholar
  7. Berenstein, L., Rodman, P., and Smith, D. G. (1981). Social relations between fathers and offspring in a captive group of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Anim. Behav. 29: 1057-1063.Google Scholar
  8. Bernstein, I. S. (1968). Social status of two hybrids in a wild troop of Macaca iris. Folia Primatol. 8: 121-131.Google Scholar
  9. Bernstein, I. S. (1976a). Activity patterns in a sooty mangabey group. Folia Primatol. 26: 185-206.Google Scholar
  10. Bernstein, I. S. (1976b). Dominance, aggression and reproduction in primate societies. J. Theor. Biol. 60: 459-472.Google Scholar
  11. Bernstein, I. S. (1981). The baby and the bathwater. Behav. Brain Sci. 4: 419-457.Google Scholar
  12. Chalmers, N. R. (1968). The visual and vocal communication of free living mangabeys in Uganda. Folia Primatol. 9: 258-280.Google Scholar
  13. Cowlishaw, G., and Dunbar, R. I. M. (1991). Dominance rank and mating success in male primates. Anim. Behav. 41: 1045-1056.Google Scholar
  14. Curie-Cohen, M., Yoshihara, D., Luttrell, L., Benforado, K., MacCluer, J. W., and Stone, W. H. (1983). The effects of dominance on mating behavior and paternity in a captive group of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Am. J. Primatol. 5: 127-138.Google Scholar
  15. de Ruiter, J. R., and van Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. (1993). Male dominance rank and reproductive success in primate groups. Primates 34: 513-523.Google Scholar
  16. Dixson, A. F., Bossi, T., and Wickings, E. J. (1993). Male dominance and genetically determined reproductive success in the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx). Primates 34: 525-532.Google Scholar
  17. Drickamer, L. C. (1974). Social rank, observability and sexual behavior of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). J. Reprod. Fertil. 37: 117-120.Google Scholar
  18. Duvall, S. W., Bernstein, I. S., and Gordon, T. P. (1976). Paternity and status in a rhesus monkey group. J. Reprod. Fertil. 47: 25-31.Google Scholar
  19. Fedigan, L. M. (1983). Dominance and reproductive success in primates. Yrbk. Phys. Anthropol. 26: 85-123.Google Scholar
  20. Gergits, W., and Casna, N. (1992). DNA profile testing for paternity and relatedness in several species of primates. Am. J. Primatol. 27: 30.Google Scholar
  21. Groves, C. P. (1978). Phylogenetic and population systematics of the mangabeys (Primates: Cercopithecoidea). Primates 19: 1-34.Google Scholar
  22. Gust, D. A., and Gordon, T. P. (1991). Male age and reproductive behavior in sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys). Anim. Behav. 41: 277-283.Google Scholar
  23. Gust, D. A., and Gordon, T. P. (1994). The absence of a matrilineally-based dominance system in sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys). Anim. Behav. 45: 589-594.Google Scholar
  24. Gust, D. A., Gordon, T. P., Gergits, W. F., Casna, N. J., Gould, K. G., and McClure, H. N. (1996). Male dominance rank and infant-initiated affiliative behaviors were not predictors of paternity in a captive group of pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina). Primates 37: 271-278.Google Scholar
  25. Hamilton, W. D. (1964). The genetical evolution of social behavior. J. Theoret. Biol. 7: 1-51.Google Scholar
  26. Homewood, K. M. (1976). Ecology and Behavior of the Tana Mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus galeritus), Ph.D thesis, University of London, London.Google Scholar
  27. Inoue, M., Mitsunaga, F., Nozaki, M., Ohsawa, H., Takenaka, A., Sugiyama, Y., Shimizu, K., and Takenaka, O. (1993). Male dominance rank and reproductive success in an enclosed group of Japanese macaques: With special reference to post conception mating. Primates 34: 503-511.Google Scholar
  28. Lahiri, R. K., and Southwick, C. H. (1966). Paternal care in Macaca sylvana. Folia Primatol. 4: 257-264.Google Scholar
  29. MacRoberts, M. H. (1970). The social organization of Barbary apes (Macaca sylvana) on Gilbraltar. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 33: 83-100.Google Scholar
  30. Mann, D. R., Castracane, V. D., McLaughlin, F., Gould, K. G., and Collins, D. C. (1983). Developmental patterns of serum luteining hormone, gonadal and adrenal steroids in the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys). Biol. Reprod. 28: 279-284.Google Scholar
  31. McMillan, C. A. (1989). Male age, dominance and mating success among rhesus macaques. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 80: 83-89.Google Scholar
  32. Napier, J. R., and Napier, P. H. (1967). Handbook of Living Primates. London, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  33. Oates, J. F., Whitesides, G. H., Davies, A. G., Waterman, P. G., Green, S. M., DaSilva, G. L., and Mole, S. (1990). Determinants of variation in tropical forest primate biomass: New evidence from West Africa. Ecology 71: 328-343.Google Scholar
  34. Paul, A., Kuester, J., Timme, A., and Arnemann, J. (1993). The association between rank, mating effort, and reproductive success in male Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Primates 34: 491-502.Google Scholar
  35. Paul, A., Kuester, J., and Arnemann, J. (1992). DNA fingerprinting reveals that infant care by male Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) is not paternal investment. Folia Primatol. 58: 93-98.Google Scholar
  36. Ridley, M. (1978). Paternal care. Anim. Behav. 26: 904-932.Google Scholar
  37. Rowell, T. E. (1966). Hierarchy in the organization of a captive baboon group. Anim. Behav. 14: 430-443.Google Scholar
  38. Sade, D. S. (1967). Determinants of dominance in a group of free ranging rhesus monkeys. In Altmann, S. A. (ed.), Social Communication Among Primates. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 99-114.Google Scholar
  39. Smith, D. G. (1981). The association between rank and reproductive success of male rhesus monkeys. Am. J. Primatol. 1: 83-90.Google Scholar
  40. Smith, D. G. (1993). A 15-year study of the association between dominance rank and reproductive success of male rhesus macaques. Primates 34: 471-480.Google Scholar
  41. Smuts, B. B. (1985). Sex and Friendship in Baboons, Aldine, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Smuts, B. B. (1987). Sexual competition and mate choice. In Smuts, B. B., Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Wrangham, R. W., and Struhsaker, T. T. (eds.), Primate Societies, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 385-399.Google Scholar
  43. St. Andre, E., Gouzoules, H., Gouzoules, S., and Stone, W. H. (1988). The influence of gender on paternal kin recognition in captive rhesus monkeys. Am. J. Primatol. 14: 407-408.Google Scholar
  44. St. Andre, E., Manis, S., Gouzoules, H., Ely, J., Garza, E., and Stone, W. H. (1992). Adult male interactions with immatures in free-ranging rhesus monkeys. Am. J. Primatol. 27: 59.Google Scholar
  45. Stern, B. R., and Smith, D. G. (1984). Sexual behavior and paternity in three captive groups of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Anim. Behav. 32: 23-32.Google Scholar
  46. Taub, D. M. (1984). Male caretaking behavior among wild Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). In Taub, D. M. (ed.), Primate Paternalism, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp. 20-55.Google Scholar
  47. Taub, D. M., and Mehlman, P. (1991). Primate paternalistic investment: A cross-species view. In Loy, J. D., and Peters, C. B. (eds.), Understanding Behavior: What Primate Studies Tell Us About Human Behavior, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 51-89.Google Scholar
  48. Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In Campbell, B. (ed.), Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man, Aldine, Chicago, pp. 1871-1971.Google Scholar
  49. Westneat, D. F. (1990). Genetic parentage in the indigo bunting: A study using DNA fingerprinting. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 27: 67-76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Gust
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. McCaster
    • 1
  • T. P. Gordon
    • 1
  • W. F. Gergits
    • 2
  • N. J. Casna
    • 2
  • H. M. McClure
    • 1
  1. 1.Yerkes Regional Primate Research CenterEmory UniversityAtlanta
  2. 2.Therion CorporationTroy

Personalised recommendations