Dominance rank and self-scratching among wild female Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)

Kaburu, Stefano S. K. and MacLarnon, Ann and Majolo, Bonaventura and Qarro, Mohamed and Semple, Stuart (2012) Dominance rank and self-scratching among wild female Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). African Zoology, 47 (1). pp. 74-79. ISSN 1562-7020

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Abstract

Measuring rates of self-scratching provides a powerful index of anxiety in non-human
primates, and investigating the relationship between self-scratching and dominance rank can
shed light on the ‘emotional costs’ of holding different positions in the hierarchy. Here we
explored the relationship between self-scratching rates and rank in wild adult female Barbary
macaques (Macaca sylvanus) in Morocco.We found a significant correlation between rank and
females’ mean self-scratching rates over the study period, with subordinates showing higher
rates of self-scratching. Analysis of temporal variation in females’ self-scratching rates
indicated that while these rates were related to measures of both grooming and aggression, the
relationship between rank and self-scratching remained significant even after controlling for
these effects. Our data suggest that lower ranked female Barbary macaques suffer higher levels
of anxiety than more dominant individuals, and hence that there is an emotional cost associated
with having low social status in this species.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Measuring rates of self-scratching provides a powerful index of anxiety in non-human primates, and investigating the relationship between self-scratching and dominance rank can shed light on the ‘emotional costs’ of holding different positions in the hierarchy. Here we explored the relationship between self-scratching rates and rank in wild adult female Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) in Morocco.We found a significant correlation between rank and females’ mean self-scratching rates over the study period, with subordinates showing higher rates of self-scratching. Analysis of temporal variation in females’ self-scratching rates indicated that while these rates were related to measures of both grooming and aggression, the relationship between rank and self-scratching remained significant even after controlling for these effects. Our data suggest that lower ranked female Barbary macaques suffer higher levels of anxiety than more dominant individuals, and hence that there is an emotional cost associated with having low social status in this species.
Keywords:Barbary macaque, rank, anxiety, self-scratching, aggression, grooming
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:5951
Deposited By: Bonaventura Majolo
Deposited On:06 Jul 2012 19:16
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:11

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