Functional significance of behavioral, morphological, and endocrine correlates across the ovarian cycle in semifree ranging female Tonkean macaques

Functional significance of behavioral, morphological, and endocrine correlates across the ovarian... The role of sexual displays in mating strategies and their reliability in indicating the time of ovulation has given rise to multiple explanations in nonhuman primates. In order to discriminate among hypotheses, socio‐sexual behaviors were recorded in a semifree ranging group of Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana), together with sexual skin swelling volumes and measurements of urinary concentrations of estrone conjugates and pregnanediol glucuronide. A clear preovulatory peak of urinary estrogen levels occurred 2 days before a defined rise in pregnanediol glucuronide concentrations, indicating that both hormones pointed out the female's ovulatory period. The concept of estrus rightly could be applied to female Tonkean macaques since fluctuations in estrogen levels correlated with cyclic changes in genital swelling sizes and rates of female behavioral attractivity and proceptivity. Males proved to be capable of recognizing the optimal conception period as judged from the occurrence of maximal rates of following behavior, serial matings, and ejaculations during the peri‐ovulatory phase. During this time, males succeeded in maintaining exclusive and enduring associations with females. However, consortships occurred precociously, with males starting to affiliate with females, follow, and mount them 1 week before the presumed time of ovulation. These long‐lasting consortships appear to be a consequence of the female extended follicular phase. This presumably sexually selected character allowed females to extend conspicuous sexual displays: genital swelling and utterance of an estrous call, which might attract males' attention and arouse them. With regard to female mating tactics, the combination of reliably indicating the time of ovulation to the male and durable periods of competitor exclusion led to reject explanations assuming manipulation about paternity or long‐lasting intermale competition incitement in Tonkean macaques. Competition for mates between females also turned out to be an irrelevant factor as it was very low in the species. We conclude that the main function of sexual displays is to herald the approach of ovulation toward available mates. Am. J. Primatol. 46:285–309, 1998. © 1998 Wiley‐Liss, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Primatology Wiley

Functional significance of behavioral, morphological, and endocrine correlates across the ovarian cycle in semifree ranging female Tonkean macaques

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ISSN
0275-2565
eISSN
1098-2345
DOI
10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1998)46:4<285::AID-AJP2>3.0.CO;2-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The role of sexual displays in mating strategies and their reliability in indicating the time of ovulation has given rise to multiple explanations in nonhuman primates. In order to discriminate among hypotheses, socio‐sexual behaviors were recorded in a semifree ranging group of Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana), together with sexual skin swelling volumes and measurements of urinary concentrations of estrone conjugates and pregnanediol glucuronide. A clear preovulatory peak of urinary estrogen levels occurred 2 days before a defined rise in pregnanediol glucuronide concentrations, indicating that both hormones pointed out the female's ovulatory period. The concept of estrus rightly could be applied to female Tonkean macaques since fluctuations in estrogen levels correlated with cyclic changes in genital swelling sizes and rates of female behavioral attractivity and proceptivity. Males proved to be capable of recognizing the optimal conception period as judged from the occurrence of maximal rates of following behavior, serial matings, and ejaculations during the peri‐ovulatory phase. During this time, males succeeded in maintaining exclusive and enduring associations with females. However, consortships occurred precociously, with males starting to affiliate with females, follow, and mount them 1 week before the presumed time of ovulation. These long‐lasting consortships appear to be a consequence of the female extended follicular phase. This presumably sexually selected character allowed females to extend conspicuous sexual displays: genital swelling and utterance of an estrous call, which might attract males' attention and arouse them. With regard to female mating tactics, the combination of reliably indicating the time of ovulation to the male and durable periods of competitor exclusion led to reject explanations assuming manipulation about paternity or long‐lasting intermale competition incitement in Tonkean macaques. Competition for mates between females also turned out to be an irrelevant factor as it was very low in the species. We conclude that the main function of sexual displays is to herald the approach of ovulation toward available mates. Am. J. Primatol. 46:285–309, 1998. © 1998 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Journal

American Journal of PrimatologyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1998

References

  • Female cooperation, consortship maintenance, and male mating success in savanna baboons
    Bercovitch, Bercovitch
  • Interactions between males and unweaned Barbary macaques: Testing the agonistic buffering hypothesis
    Deag, Deag
  • Assessment of female reproductive status in captive‐housed Hanuman langurs ( Presbytis entellus ) by measurements of urinary and fecal steroid excretion patterns
    Heistermann, Heistermann; Finke, Finke; Hodges, Hodges
  • Influence of male competition and female mate choice on male mating success in Barbary macaques ( Macaca sylvanus )
    Kuester, Kuester; Paul, Paul
  • Walter Heape and the issue of estrus in primates
    Nadler, Nadler
  • A comparative study of aggression and conciliation in three cercopithecine monkeys ( Macaca fuscata, Macaca nigra, Papio papio )
    Petit, Petit; Abegg, Abegg; Thierry, Thierry
  • On oestrous advertisement, spite and sexual harassment
    Radwan, Radwan
  • Clasping behaviour in Macaca tonkeana
    Thierry, Thierry
  • Chimpanzee genital swelling and its role in the pattern of sociosexual behavior
    Wallis, Wallis
  • Social factors modulate the effects of hormones on the sexual and aggressive behavior of macaques
    Zumpe, Zumpe; Michael, Michael

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