In a group of captive bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) housed at the California Primate Research Center, variance in reproductive success among females is primarily due to differences in infant survival. The infants of low-ranking females have a smaller probability of surviving to 6 months of age than do the infants of other females. In addition, the juvenile daughters of low-ranking females are more vulnerable to behaviourally induced mortality than are other immature animals. Observational evidence indicates that this mortality is the direct result of aggression by unrelated, higherranking adult females. Although infants' sex is not consistently related to survival, yearly fluctuations in the survival of male and female infants are reflected in the extent and direction of the skew in the sex ratio of offspring produced the following year. Years in which the highest proportion of male infants survive are followed by years in which the largest proportions of the birth cohorts are composed of males, and years in which the largest proportions of females survive are followed by years in which the largest proportions of birth cohorts are composed of females. For infant females the probability of surviving is reduced when a substantial proportion of the birth cohort is composed of females. The same pattern is evident among the sons of low-ranking females. The adaptive significance of behaviourally induced variation in reproductive success among females is considered in relation to these data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology