Females that do not experience strong contest competition for food are presumed to form ‘egalitarian’ relationships (i.e., lacking strong, linear dominance hierarchies). However, recent studies of Gorilla beringei beringei (mountain gorilla) have documented relatively strong, linear female dominance hierarchies despite them having a highly folivorous diet that generates relatively low levels of within-group contest competition (Robbins et al., 2005, 2007). To investigate if this pattern holds true for other highly folivorous species that may experience low levels of contest competition, we examined the linearity and strength of female dominance hierarchies in a population of Colobus vellerosus (ursine colobus or white-thighed colobus) at Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana. From 2004 to 2011, we collected data via ad libitum and focal sampling of 75 adult and subadult females in eight groups. Half of the study groups had few unknown submissive relationships, and females formed individualistic hierarchies with high linearity indices ranging from 0.9 to 1. There was between-group variation in all components of hierarchical strength (i.e., hierarchical expression, consistency, and stability). Groups showed varying rates of submission, and there was a short latency to detect a linear hierarchy in some groups and a long latency in other groups (i.e., varying levels of hierarchical expression). Females in most groups formed unidirectional and stable relationships. Maturing females challenged older females in some groups, and these groups had more non-linear relationships (i.e., dyads with more submissive interactions down rather than up the hierarchy) and higher rates of individual rank change than other groups. Based on low rates of submission, long latencies, and/or some inconsistencies, we conclude that most groups form relatively weak dominance hierarchies, similar to other egalitarian primates. However, a few groups formed strong dominance hierarchies, similar to some despotic primates. Colobus vellerosus occasionally forage on contestable food items, and this may provide enough incentive for females to establish individualistic dominance hierarchies of varying strength.
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
Keywords: hierarchical linearity; female relationships; dominance; individualistic hierarchies; hierarchical strength; egalitarian; Colobus vellerosus; dominance continuum
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera