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Primate Social Behavior: Understanding the Social Relationships of Japanese Macaques

Abstract

For many years, a variety of primate species have been studied in the wild or in captivity in various academic fields, such as biology, ecology, anthropology, psychology, and medical and veterinary science. Japanese primatologists began a thorough investigation of wild Japanese macaques after World War II, when research on other wild primate species was rarely conducted. Thus, Japanese macaques are among the primate species whose social organizations and life histories in the wild can be clearly described. This chapter provides an overview of the research on social relationships of Japanese macaques. Firstly, the dominance relationships and matrilineal blood relationships of adult females in a group, the relationships of adult males in a group, and the social events in which both females and males take part, are described. Secondly, the mother-young offspring relationships and social development of immature individuals are discussed. Lastly, the behavioral characteristics of old individuals are summarized.

Keywords

Dominance relationships Mother-offspring relationships Social development Kawamura’s rules Alpha male Social grooming Alliance Mating Group division Malformed infant Dead infant Grandmother hypothesis Aging 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I sincerely thank the staff working for the provisioned groups of Japanese macaques at Arashiyama, Awajishima, and Katsuyama for their help and encouragement throughout various studies conducted by my colleagues and myself. I would not have been able to complete this manuscript without observing Japanese macaques in these three provisioned groups for years. I am grateful to Ishiguro, H., Asada, M., Osaka, M. Fujikado, T. for providing the opportunity to write the present paper. I also thank the members of Department of Ethology and Ethological Studies Laboratory, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, for their valuable comments and encouragement on my studies.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Human SciencesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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