International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 979–998 | Cite as

Aggression and Reconciliation in Cebus capucinus

  • Jean-Baptiste Leca
  • Isabelle Fornasieri
  • Odile Petit


Most data relating to aggressive and conciliatory behaviors are from Old World primates. We recorded agonistic interactions and post-conflict behaviors in a group of 12 white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). After a conflict, we followed the aggressee as the focal individual during a 10-min postconflict period. We also conducted matched-control observations on the same individual. Conflicts involving physical contact were significantly bidirectional, and conflicts without physical contact were preferably unidirectional. Reconciliation was not be demonstrated at the group level. However, reconciliation occurred in kin and non-kin male/female dyads: their conciliatory tendencies were 48.1% and 21.2%, respectively. White-faced capuchins reconciled mainly during the first minutes after the end of the conflict. In kin and non-kin male/female dyads, selective attraction occurred, and aggressors were more likely to initiate affiliative contacts than aggressees. Hold-bottom and mount while emitting loud vocalizations were the most characteristic behaviors of reconciliation. Possible links may exist between aggressive and conciliatory patterns and other social variables.

capuchins conflict conflict resolution social organization 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abegg, C., Thierry, B., and Kaumanns, W. (1996). Reconciliation in three groups of lion-tailed macaques. Int. J. Primatol. 17: 803–816.Google Scholar
  2. Altmann, J. (1974). Observational study of behavior: Sampling methods. Behaviour 49: 227–266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Aureli, F. (1992). Post-conflict behaviour among wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 31: 329–337.Google Scholar
  4. Aureli, F., and de Waal, F. B. M. (2000). Natural Conflict Resolution, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.Google Scholar
  5. Aureli, F., van Schaik, C. P., and van Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. (1989). Functional aspects of reconciliation among captive long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Am. J. Primatol. 19: 39–51.Google Scholar
  6. Aureli, F., Veenema, H. C., van Panthaleon, C. J., van Eck, C. J., and van Hooff, J. A. R.A. M. (1993). Reconciliation, consolation, and redirection in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Behaviour 124: 1–21.Google Scholar
  7. Aureli, F., Das, M., and Veenema, H. C. (1997). Differential kinship effect on reconciliation in three species of macaques (Macaca fascicularis, M. fuscata and M. sylvanus). J. Comp. Psychol. 111: 91–99.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Baker, M. (1996). Fur rubbing: Use of medicinal plants by capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). Am. J. Primatol. 38: 263–270.Google Scholar
  9. Call, J., Aureli, F., and de Waal, F. B. M. (1999).Reconciliation patterns among stumptailed macaques: A multivariate approach. Anim. Behav. 58: 165–172.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Chaffin, C. L., Friedlen, K., and deWaal, F.B. M. (1995). Dominance style of japanese macaques compared with rhesus and stumptail macaques. Am. J. Primatol. 35: 103–116.Google Scholar
  11. Cords, M. (1988). Resolution of aggressive conflicts by immature long-tailed macaques, Macaca fascicularis. Anim. Behav. 36: 1124–1135.Google Scholar
  12. Demaria, C., and Thierry, B. (1992). The ability to reconcile in Tonkean and rhesus macaques. In Abstracts of the XIVth Congress of International Primatological Society, SICOP, p. 101. Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  13. de Vries, H. (1995).Animproved test of linearity in dominance hierarchies containing unknown or tied relationships. Anim. Behav. 50: 1375–1389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. de Vries, H., Netto, W. J., and Hanegraaf, P. L. H. (1993). Matman: A program for the analysis of sociometric matrices and behavioural transition matrices. Behaviour 125: 157–175.Google Scholar
  15. deWaal, F. B. M. (1988). Peacemaking Among Primates, Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  16. de Waal, F. B. M., and van Roosmalen, A. (1979). Reconciliation and consolation among chimpanzees. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 5: 55–66.Google Scholar
  17. de Waal, F. B. M., and Yoshihara, D. (1983). Reconciliation and redirected affection in rhesus monkeys. Behaviour 85: 224–241.Google Scholar
  18. de Waal, F. B. M., and Ren, R. M. (1988). Comparison of the reconciliation of stumptail and rhesus macaques. Ethology 78: 129–142.Google Scholar
  19. de Waal, F. B. M., and Luttrell, L. (1989). Toward a comparative socioecology of the genus Macaca: Different dominance styles in rhesus and stumptail monkeys. Am. J. Primatol. 19: 83–109.Google Scholar
  20. Fedigan, L. M. (1993). Sex differences and intersexual relations in adult white-faced capuchins, Cebus capucinus. Int. J. Primatol. 14: 853–877.Google Scholar
  21. Fragaszy, D. M., Visalberghi, E., and Robinson, J. G. (1990). Variability and adaptability in the genus Cebus. Folia Primatol. 54: 114–118.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Gore, M. (1992). Aftermath of aggression in female primates. Ethol. Sociobiol. 9: 181–187.Google Scholar
  23. Izawa, K. (1979). Foods and feeding behavior of wild black-capped capuchin (Cebus apella). Primates 20: 57–76.Google Scholar
  24. Janson, C. H. (1984). The mating system as a determinant of social evolution in capuchin monkeys (Cebus). In Else, J. G., and Lee, P. C. (eds.), Primate Ecology and Conservation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 169–179.Google Scholar
  25. Kappeler, P. M., and van Schaik, C. P. (1992). Methodological and evolutionnary aspects of reconciliation among primates. Ethology 92: 51–69.Google Scholar
  26. Manson, J. H. (1999). Infant handling in wild Cebus capucinus: Testing bonds between females? Anim. Behav. 57: 911–921.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Manson, J. H., Perry, S., and Parish, A. R. (1997). Nonconceptive sexual behavior in bonobos and capuchins. Int. J. Primatol. 18: 767–786.Google Scholar
  28. Matsumura, S. (1996). Post-conflict affiliative contacts between former opponents among wild moor macaques. Am. J. Primatol. 38: 211–219.Google Scholar
  29. Oppenheimer, J. R. (1973). Social and communicatory behavior in the Cebus monkeys. In Carpenter, C. R. (ed.), Behavioral Regulators of Behavior in Primates, Associated University. Presses, Cranbury, NJ, pp. 251–257.Google Scholar
  30. Oppenheimer, J. R. (1973). Preliminary observations of Cebus nigrivittatus (Primates: Cebidae) on the Venezuelan Llanos. Folia primatol. 19: 409–436.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Pereira, M. E., Schill, J. L., and Charles, E. P. (2000). Reconciliation in captive guyanese squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). Am. J. Primatol. 50: 159–167.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Perry, S. (1995). Social relationships in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys, Cebus capucinus, PhD Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. University Microfilms International.Google Scholar
  33. Perry, S. (1996a).Intergroup encounters in wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Int. J. Primatol. 17: 309–330.Google Scholar
  34. Perry, S. (1996b). Female-female social relationships in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys, Cebus capucinus. Am. J. Primatol. 40: 167–182.Google Scholar
  35. Perry, S. (1997). Male-female social relationships in wild white-faced capuchins, Cebus capucinus. Behaviour 134: 477–510.Google Scholar
  36. Perry, S. (1998a). A case report of male rank reversal in a group of wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Primates 39: 51–69.Google Scholar
  37. Perry, S. (1998b). Male-male social relationships in wild white-faced capuchins, Cebus capucinus. Behaviour 135: 139–172.Google Scholar
  38. Petit, O., Abegg, C., and Thierry, B. (1997). A comparative study of aggression and conciliation in three Cercopithecine monkeys (Macaca fuscata, Macaca nigra, Papio papio). Behaviour 134: 415–432.Google Scholar
  39. Petit, O., and Thierry, B. (1994a). Reconciliation in a group of Guinea baboons (Papio papio). In Roeder, J. J., Thierry, B., Anderson, J. R., and Herrenschmidt, N. (eds.), Current Primatology, Vol. 2, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, pp. 137–145.Google Scholar
  40. Petit, O., and Thierry, B. (1994b). Reconciliation in a group of black macaques (Macaca nigra). J. Wildl. Pres. Trust. 30: 89–Google Scholar
  41. Phillips, K.A. (1995). Resource patch size and flexible foraging in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Int. J. Primatol. 16: 509–519.Google Scholar
  42. Rose, L. M. (1994). Sex differences in diet and foraging behavior in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Int. J. Primatol. 15: 95–114.Google Scholar
  43. Schaffner, C. M., and Caine, N. G. (2000). The peacefulness of cooperatively breeding primates.In Aureli, F., and de Waal, F. B. M. (eds.), Natural Conflict Resolution, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  44. Siegel, S., and Castellan, N. J. (1988). Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Google Scholar
  45. Thierry, B. (1984). Clasping behaviour in Macaca tonkeana. Behaviour 89: 1–28.Google Scholar
  46. Thierry, B. (1986). A comparative study of aggression and response to aggression in three species of macaques. In Primate Ontogeny, Cognition and Social Behaviour, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 307–313.Google Scholar
  47. Thierry, B. (1990). Feedback loop between kinship and dominance: The macaque model.J. Theor. Biol. 145: 511–521.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Thierry, B. (2000). Covariation of conflict management patterns in macaque societies. In Aureli, F., and deWaal, F.B. M. (eds.), Natural Conflict Resolution, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  49. Veenema, H. C., Das, M., and Aureli, F. (1994). Methodological improvements for the study of reconciliation. Behav. Proc. 31: 29–38.Google Scholar
  50. Verbeek. P., and deWaal, F. B. M. (1997). Post-conflict behavior of captive brown capuchins in the presence and absence of attractive food. Int. J. Primatol. 18: 703–725.Google Scholar
  51. Watts, D. P. (1995). Post-conflict events in wild mountain gorillas (Mammalia, Hominoidea). I. Social Interactions between opponents. Ethology 100: 139–157.Google Scholar
  52. Westlund, K., Ljungberg, T., Borefelt, U., and Abrahamsson, C. (2000). Post-conflict affiliation in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus jacchus). Am. J. Primatol. 52: 31–46.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. York, A. D., and Rowell, T. E. (1988). Reconciliation following aggression in patas monkeys, Erythrocebus patas. Anim. Behav. 36: 502–509.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Baptiste Leca
    • 1
  • Isabelle Fornasieri
    • 2
  • Odile Petit
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d'Ecologie et Physiologie EnergétiquesEquipe d'Ethologie et Ecologie Comportementale des PrimatesStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l'EducationUniversité Louis PasteurStrasbourgFrance

Personalised recommendations