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Girard-Buttoz C.,Jr Research Group Primate Sexual Selection | Girard-Buttoz C.,University of Gottingen | Higham J.P.,University of Chicago | Heistermann M.,Reproductive Biology Unit | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Studies of the nutritional status of wild animals are important in a wide range of research areas such as ecology, behavioural ecology and reproductive biology. However, they have so far been strongly limited by the indirect nature of the available non-invasive tools for the measurement of individual energetic status. The measurement of urinary C-peptide (UCP), which in humans and great apes shows a close link to individual nutritional status, may be a more direct, non-invasive tool for such studies in other primates as well and possibly even in non-primate mammals. Here, we test the suitability of UCPs as markers of nutritional status in non-hominid primates, investigating relationships between UCPs and body-mass-index (BMI), skinfold fatness, and plasma C-peptide levels in captive and free-ranging macaques. We also conducted a food reduction experiment, with daily monitoring of body weight and UCP levels. UCP levels showed significant positive correlations with BMI and skinfold fatness in both captive and free-ranging animals and with plasma C-peptide levels in captive ones. In the feeding experiment, UCP levels were positively correlated with changes in body mass and were significantly lower during food reduction than during re-feeding and the pre-experimental control condition. We conclude that UCPs may be used as reliable biomarkers of body condition and nutritional status in studies of free-ranging catarrhines. Our results open exciting opportunities for energetic studies on free-ranging primates and possibly also other mammals. © 2011 Girard-Buttoz et al. Source

Kerhoas D.,Jr Research Group Primate Sexual Selection | Kerhoas D.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Kerhoas D.,University of Leipzig | Perwitasari-Farajallah D.,Bogor Agricultural University | And 5 more authors.
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2014

Premature loss of offspring decreases direct fitness of parents. In gregarious mammals, both ecological and social variables impact offspring survival and may interact with each other in this regard. Although a number of studies have investigated factors influencing offspring loss in mammals, we still know very little on how different factors interact with one another. We therefore investigated fetal and infant mortality in 3 large groups of wild crested macaques (Macaca nigra) over a period of up to 5 years by including potential social causes such as maternal dominance rank, male immigration, between group encounters, and ecological conditions such as rainfall in a multivariate survival analysis using Cox proportional hazards model. Infant but not fetal survival was most impaired after a recent takeover of the alpha-male position by an immigrant male. Furthermore, infant survival probability increased when there was an increase in number of group adult females and rainfall. Fetal survival probability also increased with an increase of these 2 factors, but more in high-ranking than low-ranking females. Fetal survival, unlike that of infants, was also improved by an increase of intergroup encounter rates. Our study thus stresses the importance of survival analyses using a multivariate approach and encompassing more than a single offspring stage to investigate the determinants of female direct fitness. We further provide evidence for fitness costs and benefits of group living, possibly deriving from high pressures of both within- and between-group competition, in a wild primate population. © 2014 © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. Source

Girard-Buttoz C.,Jr Research Group Primate Sexual Selection | Girard-Buttoz C.,University of Gottingen | Heistermann M.,German Primate Center | Rahmi E.,University of Syiah Kuala | And 4 more authors.
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2014

Mate-guarding is an important determinant of male reproductive success in a number of species. However, it is known to potentially incur costs. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of mate-guarding on male physiological stress and aggression in long-tailed macaques, a species in which males mate-guard females to a lesser extent than predicted by the Priority of Access model (PoA). The study was carried out during two mating periods on three groups of wild long-tailed macaques in Indonesia by combining behavioral observations with non-invasive measurements of fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) levels. Mate-guarding was associated with a general rise in male stress hormone levels but, from a certain threshold of mate-guarding onwards, increased vigilance time was associated with a decrease in stress hormone output. Mate-guarding also increased male-male aggression rate and male vigilance time. Overall, alpha males were more physiologically stressed than other males independently of mating competition. Increased glucocorticoid levels during mate-guarding are most likely adaptive since it may help males to mobilize extra-energy required for mate-guarding and ultimately maintain a balanced energetic status. However, repeated exposure to high levels of stress over an extended period is potentially deleterious to the immune system and thus may carry costs. This potential physiological cost together with the cost of increased aggression mate-guarding male face may limit the male's ability to mate-guard females, explaining the deviance from the PoA model observed in long-tailed macaques. Comparing our results to previous findings we discuss how ecological factors, reproductive seasonality and rank achievement may modulate the extent to which costs of mate-guarding limit male monopolization abilities. © 2014. Source

Girard-Buttoz C.,Jr Research Group Primate Sexual Selection | Girard-Buttoz C.,University of Gottingen | Heistermann M.,German Primate Center | Rahmi E.,University of Syiah Kuala | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2014

Male primates living in multimale groups tend to direct mate and mate-guarding choices toward females of high reproductive value, i.e., high-ranking, parous females, or females with which they share strong bonds. Little is known, however, about the constraints that may limit male mate-guarding choices (the costs of this behavior) and the influence of the females' quality on male investment in mate-guarding. We aimed to study the effects of female rank, parity status, and male-female social bond strength on the costs of and investment in mate-guarding by males. We carried out our study during two reproductive seasons on three groups of wild long-tailed macaques in Indonesia. We combined behavioral observations on male locomotion and activity with noninvasive measurements of fecal glucocorticoids (fGC). Males spent less time feeding when mate-guarding nulliparous females than when mate-guarding parous females and tended to have higher fGC levels when mate-guarding low-ranking nulliparous females than when mate-guarding high-ranking nulliparous ones. Evolution should thus favor male choice for high-ranking parous females because such a decision brings benefits at proximate (reduced costs of mate-guarding) and ultimate (higher reproductive value) levels. Further, male investment in mate-guarding was flexible and contingent on female reproductive and social value. Males were more vigilant and more aggressive toward other males when mate-guarding females to which they were strongly bonded and/or high-ranking ones than when mate-guarding other females. Our findings bring a new dimension to the study of mate choice by showing that males not only mate preferentially with high-quality females but may also aim to secure paternity with these females through optimized monopolization. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

Girard-Buttoz C.,Jr Research Group Primate Sexual Selection | Girard-Buttoz C.,University of Gottingen | Heistermann M.,German Primate Center | Rahmi E.,University of Syiah Kuala | And 4 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2015

The challenge hypothesis (Wingfield et al., 1990) has been broadly utilised as a conceptual framework to study male androgen correlates of reproductive challenges in mammals. These studies mainly assessed male androgen responsiveness to a general degree of challenge over extended periods of time. Short term co-variation between the socio-sexual challenging context and androgen levels remains, however, largely understudied. We thus aim at providing a multi-level test of the challenge hypothesis by investigating the inter- and intra-individual variations in faecal androgen excretion associated to 1) breeding seasonality, 2) dominance rank, 3) mate-guarding activity and 4) value of the guarded female. We studied long-tailed macaques, a species in which males engage in highly challenging monopolisation of females over discreet periods of time. This particularity allows testing specifically the predicted increase from level B to level C in the challenge hypothesis. The study was carried out during two reproductive seasons on three groups of wild long-tailed macaques. We combined behavioural observations and non-invasive measurements of faecal androgen metabolite (fAM) levels. We found that, as predicted by the challenge hypothesis, male long-tailed macaques respond not only to seasonal but also to short term reproductive challenges by adapting their androgen levels. First, males exhibited a seasonal rise in fAM levels during the mating period which may be triggered by fruit availability as shown by our phenological data. Second, males had increased androgen levels when mate-guarding females and, across mate-guarding periods, males had higher fAM levels when monopolising high-ranking parous females than when monopolising low-ranking ones. Finally, high-ranking males had higher fAM levels than low-ranking males year round. Our study confirms that, in species with a high degree of female monopolisability, androgen may be an important physiological fitness enhancing tool for males by increasing female monopolisation efficiency (in particular with highly valuable females) and helping males to respond to rank take-over challenges. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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