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Yu Y.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Xiang Z.-F.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yao H.,Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Shennongjia Golden Monkey | Grueter C.C.,University of Western Australia | Li M.,CAS Institute of Zoology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Allogrooming in primates has acquired an important social function beyond its original hygienic function and can be exchanged either for itself or used as a currency to obtain other benefits such as copulations, access to infants or agonistic support. We explore the strategic use of grooming as a social tool in semi-wild golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in central China, a species where two desirable resources, viz. reproductive males and infants, are restricted to the mating and birth season, respectively. We predict that females expend their grooming selectively to different individuals according to their "value". Our results show that in the mating season, females devoted more grooming to the resident male than in the birth season, and this effect was particularly strong in non-mothers (females without newborn infants). Moreover, females were more likely to groom the resident male after copulation than during baseline social conditions. In the birth season, females devoted more grooming to other females than in the mating season, and mothers (females with newborn infants) were the most valuable grooming partners. The mean rate of contact by non-mothers toward infants of other females was significantly higher after grooming the mothers than in baseline social conditions. In conclusion, our findings lend credence to the notion that primate females use grooming as a strategic tool to obtain limited resources such as males and infants and vary preference for particular individuals depending on the seasonal availability of valuable resources. © 2013 Yu et al. Source

Xiang Z.-F.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Xiang Z.-F.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yang B.-H.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Yang B.-H.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2014

Group-level male-male co-operation, which has been documented in several primate and non-primate societies, may be mutualistically advantageous to the participants when confronted with threats such as takeovers and cuckoldry by external males. Co-operation among members of distinct social units-while universal among humans-is extremely rare in non-human primates. We present the first observations of collective action or co-operation among males of different one-male units (OMU) in a multi-level society of Rhinopithecus roxellana. A total of 59 instances of male co-operation were recorded. Male co-operation included coordinated chasing, joint vigilance, and patrolling behavior directed at lone adult males trying to enter an OMU. Male co-operation was significantly more frequent during the mating season when the risk of incursions and extra-group paternity was higher. Paternity of infants born in the subsequent birth season and kin relationships among resident males were identified using microsatellite genotype. All infants were sired by OMU males, which we interpret as possible evidence for their success at thwarting mating attempts by satellite males. OMU males were principally unrelated suggesting that male co-operation is best understood in terms of the mutual direct benefits individuals obtain through collective action. Our findings lend support to the bachelor threat hypothesis in which the cooperative behavior of several individuals is more effective than the lone action of a single individual in providing mate defense. Our research has implications for understanding male bonding, higher-level collective action, and the evolution of social co-operation in human societies. Am. J. Primatol. 76:609-617, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Yao H.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yao H.,Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Shennongjia Golden Monkey | Yu H.,Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Shennongjia Golden Monkey | Yang B.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2016

In nonhuman primates, infanticide by adult males can occur when the leader male is ousted from a one-male, multifemale group, or when male dominance rank changes within a multimale, multifemale group. According to the sexual selection hypothesis, this behavior may be adaptive if perpetrators increase their reproductive success by killing unrelated, unweaned infants, thus shortening the interbirth interval of the mother, and then siring her next infant. Under an alternative hypothesis, infanticide is a byproduct of aggressive male–male competition and these predictions do not hold. Direct observations of the context surrounding infanticide in free-ranging primate populations that allow a test of these predictions are rare. Here, we document four cases of male infanticide and report paternity data for a group of golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) at Shennongjia, China. Three cases of infanticide by new leader males supported the predictions of the sexual selection hypothesis, while another provides partial support for the sexual selection hypothesis, but can also be explained via a nonadaptive hypothesis. In this latter case, a male from an all-male group killed an infant during an aggressive episode that appeared to be accidental, as it took place 7 mo before a male takeover happened, and the perpetrator did not obtain any reproductive advantage. We conclude that most male infanticide events in golden snub-nosed monkeys are consistent with the adaptive selection sexual hypothesis. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Liu R.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yao H.,Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Shennongjia Golden Monkey | Yang W.,Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Shennongjia Golden Monkey | Xiang Z.,Central South University of forestry and Technology
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2016

The maternal behavior of primates is critical for offspring survival and female reproductive success, and also impacts infant development and adult relationships with other individuals. Thus, observations of mother-infant interactions are a subject of current interest. To document the maternal behavior of Rhinopithecus roxellana, and factors that affect mother-infant interaction, from March 2013 to October 2014 the relative distance between the mother and the infant, the mother's restraining of the infant, and rejection of allomaternal behavior were recorded for 15 mother-infant dyads in a provisioned group at Dalongtan, in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve. We found that the time infants spent in ventral contact with the mother was significantly negatively correlated with infant age, whereas there was no significant relationship between general body contact and infant age. Relative distance between mother and infant was negatively correlated with infant age at distances <1 m, and positively correlated at distances of 1-5 m, 5-10 m, and >10 m. The mother's restraining behavior did not correlate with infant age, while the mother's rejection of allomaternal behavior was negatively correlated with infant age. The results also suggest that the distance between mother and infant increased with the growth and development of the infant, and that the mother was less protective of the infant as it became more active and mobile. Maternal parity, the sex of the infant, the infant's birth date, and social unit size had a minimal influence on mother-infant relationships. Lower food competition and intra-group aggression between the females in the provision population might explain this result of mother-infant relationship. © 2016, Science Press. All right reserved. Source

Fan P.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Chen H.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yao H.,Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Shennongjia Golden Monkey | Wang Z.,Zhengzhou University | And 2 more authors.
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2013

Steroid hormone metabolites in the feces and urine (SHMFU) have been used to monitor the physiological status, i.e., reproductive, health or social status, in many primate species. Owing to the different metabolic path in the body, SHMFU may have different concentration peak. The refore, it is necessary to analyze the correlation or consistency of SHMFU when apply them to identify the physiological status of the animal. In this study, we clarify the consistency of SHMFU of a semi-free ranging group in golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana)at Shennongjia, central China, with total 84 samples, including two adult males (24 samples) and ten adult females (60 samples), from November, 2011 to June, 2012. Enzyme-linked immunoassays (EIA) were applied to detect the testosterone of the male, testosterone estradiol and progesterone of the female. Significant correlation of testosterone, testosterone estradiol and progesterone in the feces and urine were found both the males and females. The result indicated that it was feasible to judge the physiological status of R. roxellana through SHMFU. However, this study couldn't provide the lag time of SHMFU because the number of samples is not enough. Source

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