Male mating competition, female choice and dominance in a free ranging group of Japanese macaques

Research paper by Sidney I. Perloe

Indexed on: 01 Jul '92Published on: 01 Jul '92Published in: Primates


Focal and ad libitum samples of high and middle ranked males in a group of free ranging Japanese macques were taken in order to examine rank related differences in male mating strategies. Males tended to have like ranked females as consort partners, with high rank males showing more consort activity, over all, than middle rank males. High rank males tended to interfere in consorts and middle rank males tended to have their consorts disrupted. Consorts involving high rank females were most subject to interference. With one exception, proximity between partners in consorts involving high rank males was due to male actions while proximity in consorts involving middle ranked males was due to female actions. The two highest ranked males were never observed copulating. Their mating failure may have been due to avoidance by females who had known them since immaturity. High rank males were somewhat more likely than middle rank males to have consorted with females during the period of likely conception. There was some evidence that frequent consort partners joined the same subgroup during a group fission. Males appeared to use the advantage conferred by high rank mainly in competition for high rank females. Females showed some indications of preference for mates likely to retain or attain high rank in the future.