Title

A Comparison of Female-Female Bridging to Male-Male Bridging in Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana)

Presenter Information

Grant Clifton

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137B

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Primate, Behavior, Animal

Abstract

Bridging is an affiliative interaction in which two individuals lift an infant between each other and lick the infant’s genitals. Male-male bridging has been studied in several macaque (Macaca) species, but female-female bridging has received less focus. Male-male bridging is believed to act as a way to reduce social tension between individuals, but it may function differently for females. We studied female-female bridging in provisioned Tibetan macaques (M. thibetana) from August to September 2014. We predicted that female-female bridging would show distinct patterns when compared to what has been reported for males. We recorded bridging behavior from an ethogram using all-occurrences and focal-animal sampling of eight adult and four subadult females. Similar to what has been observed for males, female-female bridges were never immediately followed by aggression, and females utilized infants more often than juveniles. Unlike what has been reported in males, within female-female bridging dyads, initiators were not more likely to be subordinate to recipients, W=45, n=17, p>0.05. Bridge initiation rates were strongly correlated with social rank, rs=0.73, n=12, p<0.05, but there was no significant relationship between bridge reception rates and social rank, rs=0.30, n=12, p>0.05. Receivers more frequently held infants in bridges, which is significantly different than what has been reported in males, χ²= 42.23, df=1, p<0.05. Our results suggest that female-female bridging is more likely related to female interest in infants than to social tension between individuals.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lori Sheeran, Steven Wagner

Department/Program

Primate Behavior & Ecology

Additional Mentoring Department

Primate Behavior & Ecology

Additional Mentoring Department

Biology

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May 21st, 3:20 PM May 21st, 3:40 PM

A Comparison of Female-Female Bridging to Male-Male Bridging in Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana)

SURC 137B

Bridging is an affiliative interaction in which two individuals lift an infant between each other and lick the infant’s genitals. Male-male bridging has been studied in several macaque (Macaca) species, but female-female bridging has received less focus. Male-male bridging is believed to act as a way to reduce social tension between individuals, but it may function differently for females. We studied female-female bridging in provisioned Tibetan macaques (M. thibetana) from August to September 2014. We predicted that female-female bridging would show distinct patterns when compared to what has been reported for males. We recorded bridging behavior from an ethogram using all-occurrences and focal-animal sampling of eight adult and four subadult females. Similar to what has been observed for males, female-female bridges were never immediately followed by aggression, and females utilized infants more often than juveniles. Unlike what has been reported in males, within female-female bridging dyads, initiators were not more likely to be subordinate to recipients, W=45, n=17, p>0.05. Bridge initiation rates were strongly correlated with social rank, rs=0.73, n=12, p<0.05, but there was no significant relationship between bridge reception rates and social rank, rs=0.30, n=12, p>0.05. Receivers more frequently held infants in bridges, which is significantly different than what has been reported in males, χ²= 42.23, df=1, p<0.05. Our results suggest that female-female bridging is more likely related to female interest in infants than to social tension between individuals.