43 Works

Data from: Meerkat close calling patterns are linked to sex, social category, season and wind, but not fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations

Jelena Mausbach, Ines Braga Goncalves, Michael Heistermann, André Ganswindt & Marta B. Manser
It is well established that animal vocalizations can encode information regarding a sender’s identity, sex, age, body size, social rank and group membership. However, the association between physiological parameters, particularly stress hormone levels, and vocal behavior is still not well understood. The cooperatively breeding African meerkats (Suricata suricatta) live in family groups with despotic social hierarchies. During foraging, individuals emit close calls that help maintain group cohesion. These contact calls are acoustically distinctive and variable...

Primate mothers promote proximity between their offspring and infants who look like them

Marie Charpentier, Clémence Poirotte, Berta Roura-Torres, Paul Amblard-Rambert, Eric Willaume, Peter Kappeler, François Rousset & Julien Renoult
Behavioral discrimination of kin is a key process structuring social relationships in animals. In this study, we provide a first example of discrimination towards non-kin by third-parties through a mechanism of phenotype matching. In mandrills, we recently demonstrated increased facial resemblance among paternally-related juvenile and adult females indicating adaptive opportunities for paternal kin recognition. Here, we hypothesize that mothers use offspring’s facial resemblance with other infants to guide offspring’s social opportunities towards similarly-looking ones. Using...

Data from: Long-term storage effects in steroid metabolite extracts from baboon (Papio sp.) faeces – a comparison of three commonly applied storage methods

Urs Kalbitzer & Michael Heistermann
1. The measurement of steroid hormone metabolites from faeces in wild animal populations is a powerful, non-invasive tool in behavioural endocrinology of all major vertebrate taxa. However, because such research is often done in remote areas with limited infrastructure, storage of samples for hormone analysis over long periods at high temperature is a critical issue in field endocrinology. Previous studies have indicated that storage of alcoholic faecal extracts is more reliable than storage of unprocessed...

Data from: Concatenation and concordance in the reconstruction of mouse lemur phylogeny: an empirical demonstration of the effect of allele sampling in phylogenetics.

David W. Weisrock, Stacey D. Smith, Lauren M. Chan, Karla Biebouw, Peter M. Kappeler & Anne D. Yoder
The systematics and speciation literature is rich with discussion relating to the potential for gene tree/species tree discordance. Numerous mechanisms have been proposed to generate discordance, including differential selection, long-branch attraction, gene duplication, genetic introgression, and/or incomplete lineage sorting. For speciose clades in which divergence has occurred recently and rapidly, recovering the true species tree can be particularly problematic due to incomplete lineage sorting. Unfortunately, the availability of multi-locus or “phylogenomic” data sets does not...

Data from: Cost of dispersal in a social mammal: body mass loss and increased stress

Nino Maag, Gabriele Cozzi, Andrew Bateman, Michael Heistermann, Andre Ganswindt, Marta Manser, Tim Clutton-Brock & Arpat Ozgul
Dispersal is a key process influencing the dynamics of socially and spatially structured populations. Dispersal success is determined by the state of individuals at emigration and the costs incurred after emigration. However, quantification of such costs is often difficult, due to logistical constraints of following wide-ranging individuals. We investigated the effects of dispersal on individual body mass and stress hormone levels in a cooperative breeder, the meerkat (Suricata suricatta). We measured body mass and faecal...

Data from: Triadic male-infant-male interaction serves in bond maintenance in male Assamese macaques

Oliver Schülke, Josefine Kalbitz & Julia Ostner
While the ultimate consequences of social bonds start to be better understood, the proximate behavioural mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of these close affiliative relationships have received less attention. We investigated the possible function of male-infant-male interactions (MIMIs) in male-male social bonding processes by analysing about 9000h of focal animal observations collected on two groups of wild Assamese macaques. In support of an agonistic buffering function of MIMIs, after engaging in a MIMI upon...

Data from: MHC-disassortative mate choice and inbreeding avoidance in a solitary primate

Elise Huchard, Alice Baniel, Susanne Schliehe-Diecks & Peter M. Kappeler
Sexual selection theory suggests that choice for partners carrying dissimilar genes at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may play a role in maintaining genetic variation in animal populations by limiting inbreeding or improving the immunity of future offspring. However, it is often difficult to establish whether the observed MHC dissimilarity among mates drives mate choice or represents a by-product of inbreeding avoidance based on MHC-independent cues. Here, we used 454-sequencing and a 10-year study of...

Data from: Moving in the Anthropocene: global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

Marlee A. Tucker, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, William F. Fagan, John M. Fryxell, Bram Van Moorter, Susan C. Alberts, Abdullahi H. Ali, Andrew M. Allen, Nina Attias, Tal Avgar, Hattie Bartlam-Brooks, Buuveibaatar Bayarbaatar, Jerrold L. Belant, Alessandra Bertassoni, Dean Beyer, Laura Bidner, Floris M. Van Beest, Stephen Blake, Niels Blaum, Chloe Bracis, Danielle Brown, P. J. Nico De Bruyn, Francesca Cagnacci, Justin M. Calabrese, Constança Camilo-Alves … & Thomas Mueller
Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral...

Data from: Acquisition and functional consequences of social knowledge in macaques

Barbara Tiddi, Polizzi Eugenia Di Sorrentino, Julia Fischer & Gabriele Schino
To manoeuvre in complex societies, it is beneficial to acquire knowledge about the social relationships existing among group mates, so as to better predict their behaviour. Although such knowledge has been firmly established in a variety of animal taxa, how animals acquire such knowledge, as well as its functional significance, remains poorly understood. In order to understand how primates acquire and use their social knowledge, we studied kin-biased redirected aggression in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)...

Data from: The development of individual differences in cooperative behaviour: maternal glucocorticoid hormones alter helping behaviour of offspring in wild meerkats

Ben Dantzer, Constance Dubuc, Ines Braga Goncalves, Dominic L. Cram, Nigel C. Bennett, Andre Ganswindt, Michael Heistermann, Chris Duncan, David Gaynor & Tim H. Clutton-Brock
The phenotype of parents can have long-lasting effects on the development of offspring as well as on their behaviour, physiology and morphology as adults. In some cases, these changes may increase offspring fitness but, in others, they can elevate parental fitness at a cost to the fitness of their offspring. We show that in Kalahari meerkats (Suricata suricatta), the circulating glucocorticoid (GC) hormones of pregnant females affect the growth and cooperative behaviour of their offspring....

Data from: Mitogenomics of the Old World monkey tribe Papionini

Rasmus Liedigk, Christian Roos, Markus Brameier & Dietmar Zinner
Background: The evolutionary history of the Old World monkey tribe Papionini comprising the genera Macaca, Mandrillus, Cercocebus, Lophocebus, Theropithecus, Rungwecebus and Papio is still matter of debate. Although the African Papionini (subtribe Papionina) are generally considered to be the sister lineage to the Asian Papionini (subtribe Macacina), previous studies based on morphological data, nuclear or mitochondrial sequences have shown contradictory phylogenetic relationships among and within both subtribes. To further elucidate the phylogenetic relationships among papionins...

Data from: Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) can use simple heuristics but fail at drawing statistical inferences from populations to samples

Sarah Placì, Johanna Eckert, Hannes Rakoczy & Julia Fischer
Human infants, apes, and capuchin monkeys engage in intuitive statistics: they generate predictions from populations of objects to samples based on proportional information. This suggests that statistical reasoning might depend on some core knowledge that humans share with other primate species. To aid the reconstruction of the evolution of this capacity, we investigated whether intuitive statistical reasoning is also present in a species of Old World monkey. In a series of 4 experiments, 11 long-tailed...

Unconditional care from close maternal kin in the face of parasites

Clémence Poirotte & Marie Charpentier
Several species mitigate relationships according to their conspecifics’ parasite status. Yet, such strategy of defense comes with costs of depriving individuals from valuable social bonds. Animals therefore face a trade-off between costs of pathogen exposure and benefits of social relationships. According to models of social evolution, social bonds are highly kin-biased. However, whether kinship mitigates social avoidance of contagious individuals has never been tested so far. Here, we build on previous research to demonstrate that...

Hemotological and morphometric measurements from geladas

Kenneth L. Chiou, Mareike C. Janiak, India A. Schneider-Crease, Sharmi Sen, Ferehiwot Ayele, Idrissa S. Chuma, Sascha Knauf, Alemayehu Lemma, Anthony V. Signore, Anthony M. D’Ippolito, Belayneh Abebe, Abebaw Azanaw Haile, Fanuel Kebede, Peter J. Fashing, Nga Nguyen, Colleen McCann, Marlys L. Houck, Jeffrey D. Wall, Andrew S. Burrell, Christina M. Bergey, Jeffrey Rogers, Jane E. Phillips-Conroy, Clifford J. Jolly, Amanda D. Melin, Jay F. Storz … & Noah Snyder-Mackler
Primates have adapted to numerous environments and lifestyles but very few species are native to high elevations. Here, we investigated high-altitude adaptations in the gelada (Theropithecus gelada), a monkey endemic to the Ethiopian Plateau. We examined genome-wide variation in conjunction with measurements of haematological and morphological traits. Our new gelada reference genome is highly intact and assembled at chromosome-length levels. Unexpectedly, we identified a chromosomal polymorphism in geladas that could potentially contribute to reproductive barriers...

Do infants and preschoolers quantify probabilities based on proportions?

Sarah Placì, Julia Fischer & Hannes Rakoczy
Most statistical problems encountered throughout life require the ability to quantify probabilities based on proportions. Recent findings on the early ontogeny of this ability have been mixed: For example, when presented with jars containing preferred and less preferred items, 12-month-olds, but not 3- and 4-years-olds, seem to rely on the proportions of objects in the jars to predict the content of samples randomly drawn out of them. Given these contrasting findings, it remains unclear what...

Bonds of bros and brothers: Kinship and social bonding in post-dispersal male macaques

Delphine De Moor, Christian Roos, Julia Ostner & Oliver Schülke
Group-living animals often maintain a few very close affiliative relationships – social bonds – that can buffer them against many of the inevitable costs of gregariousness. Kinship plays a central role in the development of such social bonds. The bulk of research on kin biases in sociality has focused on philopatric females, who typically live in deeply kin-structured systems, with matrilineal dominance rank inheritance and life-long familiarity between kin. Closely related males, in contrast, are...

Data from: Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs

Scott Hotaling, Mary Foley, Nicolette Lawrence, Jose Bocanegra, Marina B. Blanco, Rodin Rasoloarison, Peter M. Kappeler, Meredith A. Barrett, Anne D. Yoder, David W. Weisrock, Mary E. Foley & Nicolette M. Lawrence
Implementation of the coalescent model in a Bayesian framework is an emerging strength in genetically based species delimitation studies. By providing an objective measure of species diagnosis, these methods represent a quantitative enhancement to the analysis of multilocus data, and complement more traditional methods based on phenotypic and ecological characteristics. Recognized as two species 20 years ago, mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) now comprise more than 20 species, largely diagnosed from mtDNA sequence data. With each...

Data from: A comprehensive analysis of autocorrelation and bias in home range estimation

Michael J. Noonan, Marlee A. Tucker, Christen H. Fleming, Tom S. Akre, Susan C. Alberts, Abdullahi H. Ali, Jeanne Altmann, Pamela C. Antunes, Jerrold L. Belant, Dean Beyer, Niels Blaum, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, , Rogerio De Paula Cunha, Jasja Dekker, Jonathan Drescher-Lehman, Nina Farwig, Claudia Fichtel, Christina Fischer, Adam T. Ford, Jacob R. Goheen, René Janssen, Florian Jeltsch, Matthew Kauffman, Peter M. Kappeler … & Justin M. Calabrese
Home range estimation is routine practice in ecological research. While advances in animal tracking technology have increased our capacity to collect data to support home range analysis, these same advances have also resulted in increasingly autocorrelated data. Consequently, the question of which home range estimator to use on modern, highly autocorrelated tracking data remains open. This question is particularly relevant given that most estimators assume independently sampled data. Here, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of...

Data from: Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest

Constanze Hoffmann, Fee Zimmermann, Roman Biek, Hjalmar Kuehl, Kathrin Nowak, Roger Mundry, Anthony Agbor, Samuel Angedakin, Mimi Arandjelovic, Anja Blankenburg, Gregory Brazolla, Katherine Corogenes, Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Tobias Deschner, Paula Dieguez, Karsten Dierks, Ariane Düx, Susann Dupke, Henk Eshuis, Pierre Formenty, Yisa Ginath Yuh, Annemarie Goedmakers, Jan Gogarten, Anne-Céline Granjon, Scott McGraw … & Fabian Leendertz
Anthrax is a globally significant animal disease and zoonosis. Despite this, current knowledge of anthrax ecology is largely limited to arid ecosystems, where outbreaks are most commonly reported. We reveal cryptic the dynamics of an anthrax causing agent, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, in a tropical rainforest with severe consequences for local wildlife communities. Using data and samples collected over three decades we found that rainforest anthrax is a persistent and widespread cause of death for...

Data from: Competition is crucial for social comparison processes in long-tailed macaques

Stefanie Keupp, Rowan Titchener, Thomas Bugnyar, Thomas Mussweiler & Julia Fischer
Humans modulate their self-evaluations and behaviour as a function of conspecific presence and performance. In this study we tested for the presence of human-like social comparison effects in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). The monkeys’ task was to extract food from an apparatus by pulling drawers within reach and we measured latency between drawer-pulls. Subjects either worked on the task with a partner who could access the apparatus from an adjacent cage, worked in the absence...

Data from: Shared evolutionary origin of MHC polymorphism in sympatric lemurs

Eva Kaesler, Peter M. Kappeler, Markus Brameier, Janina Demeler, Cornelia Kraus, Josué H. Rakotoniaina, Anni M. Hämäläinen & Elise Huchard
Genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) play a central role in adaptive immune responses of vertebrates. They exhibit remarkable polymorphism, often crossing species boundaries with similar alleles or allelic motifs shared across species. This pattern may reflect parallel parasite-mediated selective pressures, either favouring the long maintenance of ancestral MHC allelic lineages across successive speciation events by balancing selection (‘trans-species polymorphism’), or alternatively favouring the independent emergence of functionally similar alleles post-speciation via convergent evolution....

Data from: Female reproductive competition in Eulemur rufifrons: eviction and reproductive restraint in a plurally breeding Malagasy primate

Peter M. Kappeler & Claudia Fichtel
In mammals with female philopatry, co-resident females inevitably compete with each other for resources or reproductive opportunities, thereby reducing the kin-selected benefits of altruism towards relatives. These counteracting forces of cooperation and competition among kin should be particularly pronounced in plurally breeding species with limited alternative breeding opportunities outside the natal group. However, little is still known about the costs of reproductive competition on females’ fitness and the victims’ potential counter-strategies. Here we summarize long-term...

Data from: Carrion fly-derived DNA as a tool for comprehensive and cost-effective assessment of mammalian biodiversity

Sebastien Calvignac-Spencer, Kevin Merkel, Nadine Kutzner, Hjalmar Kühl, Christophe Boesch, Peter M. Kappeler, Sonja Metzger, Grit Schubert & Fabian H. Leendertz
Large-scale monitoring schemes are essential in assessing global mammalian biodiversity, and in this framework leeches have recently been promoted as an indirect source of DNA from terrestrial mammal species. Carrion feeding flies are ubiquitous and can be expected to feed on many vertebrate carcasses. Hence, we tested whether fly-derived DNA analysis may also serve as a novel tool for mammalian diversity surveys. We screened DNA extracted from 201 carrion flies collected in tropical habitats of...

Data from: Competition between sympatric wolf taxa: an example involving African and Ethiopian Wolves

Tariku Mekonnen Gutema, Anagaw Atickem, Afework Bekele, Claudio Sillero-Zubiri, Mohammed Kasso, Diress Tsegaye, Vivek V. Venkataraman, Peter J. Fashing, Dietmar Zinner & Nils C. Stenseth
Carnivore populations are declining globally due to range contraction, persecution and prey depletion. One consequence of these patterns is increased range and niche overlap with other carnivores, and thus an elevated potential for competitive exclusion. Here we document competition between an endangered canid, the Ethiopian wolf (EW), and the newly discovered African wolf (AW) in central Ethiopia. The diet of the ecological specialist EW was dominated by rodents whereas the AW consumed more diverse diet...

Data from: Mechanisms of reciprocity and diversity in social networks: a modelling and comparative approach

Ivan Puga-Gonzalez, Julia Ostner, Oliver Schülke, Sebastian Sosa, Bernard Thierry & Cedric Sueur
Three mechanisms have been proposed to underlie reciprocation of social behaviors in gregarious animals: ‘calculated reciprocity’, ‘emotional bookkeeping’ and ‘symmetry-based reciprocity’. Among these explanations, emotional book-keeping has received the broadest support from experimental and observational studies. On the other hand, three individual-based models have shown that reciprocation may emerge via ‘symmetry-based reciprocity’, ‘emotional bookkeeping’, or a combination of both mechanisms. Here we use these three models to assess their relative fit with empirical data on...

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