The Effects of Dispersal and Reproductive Patterns on the Evolution of Male Sociality in White-Faced Capuchins

  • Eva C. WikbergEmail author
  • Katharine M. Jack
  • Linda M. Fedigan
  • Shoji Kawamura
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


In many mammalian species, philopatric females reside with female kin with whom they form long-lasting cooperative bonds, whereas dispersing males rarely form strong bonds with other males. However, males may have the opportunity to disperse and form long-lasting bonds with paternal male kin in species with high male reproductive skew and parallel male dispersal. We used 54 group-years with demographic and genetic data to investigate how male dispersal and reproductive patterns affected the distribution of male kin in the Santa Rosa white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator). During 41 of 54 group-years, there was a high degree of reproductive monopolization by either the alpha or a subordinate male. Natal males often co-resided with paternal brothers of similar age. The likelihood of parallel dispersal from the natal group increased with age similarity and paternal sibship. Some males may possibly gain inclusive fitness benefits by engaging in parallel dispersal and forming long-term cooperative bonds with other males. However, only one of three groups displayed a positive association between male-male relatedness and time spent co-resident in the breeding group. Inbreeding avoidance between alpha males and their daughters also gives subordinate males an opportunity to gain direct fitness benefits and may provide a strong incentive for cooperation among males that are not close kin. These findings suggest that cooperation between related and unrelated males likely evolved due to different reasons. Subordinate males related to the alpha male may gain inclusive fitness benefits, while only unrelated subordinate males gained reproductive opportunities and direct fitness benefits from cooperating.


Social evolution Kin cooperation Kin competition Inbreeding Parallel dispersal 



This study was approved and supported by the University of Calgary’s Life and Environmental Sciences Animal Care Committee, Tulane University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Costa Rican Park Service, and Roger Blanco Segura and the administration of the Área de Conservación Guanacaste. The lab work was funded by the Japan Society for Promotion of Science’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (ECW) and Grant-in-Aid (SK). The field work was funded by an NSERC Discovery Grant and the Canada Research Chairs Program (LMF) and by the LSB Leakey Foundation, Tulane University’s Department of Anthropology, Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Newcomb Institute, and Research Enhancement Fund (KMJ). We would like to thank the many students and research assistants who collected data in the field; Mackenzie Bergstrom, Fernando Campos, Tomohide Hiwatashi, and Akiko Yashima for the help with the lab work and Urs Kalbitzer and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved earlier versions of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva C. Wikberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katharine M. Jack
    • 2
  • Linda M. Fedigan
    • 3
  • Shoji Kawamura
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology and ArchaeologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of Integrated BiosciencesUniversity of TokyoKashiwaJapan

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