No short-term contingency between grooming and food tolerance in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)

Molesti, Sandra and Majolo, Bonaventura (2015) No short-term contingency between grooming and food tolerance in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Ethology, 121 (4). pp. 372-382. ISSN 0179-1613

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eth.12346

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Abstract

The exchange services such as allo-grooming, allo-preening, food tolerance and agonistic support has been observed in a range of species. Two proximate mechanisms have been proposed to explain the exchanges of services in animals. First, an animal can give a service to a partner depending on how the partner behaved toward it in the recent past. This mechanism is usually tested by examining the within-dyad temporal relation between events given and received over short time periods. Second, the partner choice mechanism assumes that animals give favours toward specific partners but not others, by comparing how each partner behaved toward them over longer time frames. As such, the partner choice mechanism does not make specific predictions on a temporal contingency between services received and given over short time frames. While there is evidence for a long-term positive correlation between services exchanged in animals, results for short-term contingencies between services given and received are mixed. Our study investigated the exchange of grooming for food tolerance in a partially-provisioned group of Barbary macaques, by analysing the short-term contingency between these events. Tolerance over food was compared immediately after grooming and in control condition, using food of different shareability. We found no evidence that grooming increases food tolerance or decrease aggression around food in the short term. Food tolerance was affected by the shareability of the food and the sex of the partners. The exchanges of grooming and food tolerance in non-human primates may be little affected by recent single events. We suggest that long-term exchanges between services given and received and social partner choice may play a more important role in explaining social interactions than short-term contingent events.

Keywords:grooming exchange, tolerance, contingency, Reciprocity, primate, Barbary Macaques, bmjversion, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
L Social studies > L620 Physical and Biological Anthropology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:16409
Deposited On:13 Jan 2015 12:00

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