Social relationships among adult female baboons (Papio cynocephalus) II. Variation in the quality and stability of social bonds

Joan B. Silk, Susan C. Alberts, Jeanne Altmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations

Abstract

A growing body of evidence suggests that social bonds have adaptive value for animals that live in social groups. Although these findings suggest that natural selection may favor the ability to cultivate and sustain social bonds, we know very little about the factors that influence the quality or stability of social bonds. Here, we draw on data derived from a 16-year study of baboons living in seven different social groups in the Amboseli basin of Kenya to evaluate the quality and stability of social bonds among females. Our results extend previous analyses, which demonstrate that females form the strongest bonds with close maternal and paternal kin, age mates (who may be paternal kin), and females who occupy similar ranks but are not maternal relatives. Here we show that the same factors influence the quality and strength of social bonds. Moreover, the results demonstrate that the quality of social bonds directly affects their stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Friendship
  • Kin selection
  • Nepotism
  • Reciprocity
  • Social bonds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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