Document Detail

Special relationships instead of female dominance for redfronted lemurs, Eulemur fulvus rufus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9359967     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Most lemurs yet studied in detail exhibit some mode of adult female social dominance over males. The known exception, a brown lemur subspecies known as rufous or redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus), forms multimale-multifemale social groups within which unambiguous dominance relations are not observed among adults. Resting groups of redfronted lemurs consistently include huddling adult male-female pairs whose males selectively scentmark and rub their heads in the scentmarks of their female huddling partners. Quantitative observations confirmed that some of these male-female pairs maintain special relationships satisfying all criteria originally developed in research on cercopithecine monkeys. Observations before, during, and after mating season, intergroup encounters, male transfers, and changes in male-female affiliations illuminated developmental and functional aspects of male-female partnerships. Each adult female in two semi-free-ranging study groups shared high rates of association, grooming, and agonistic support and low rates of agonistic interaction with one unrelated or distantly related adult male partner. Such affinity characterized small proportions of adult male-female relationships. Several males directed not only support but also aggression toward adult females with whom they sought to affiliate. All bonded males sought to copulate with their partners, and some appeared to ignore estrus in nonpartners. All females accepted copulation attempts from partners and some seemed to prefer their partners as mates. Partial synchronization of brief estrus periods together with concealed ovulation appeared to minimize chances for polygynous mating. Results support the view that the male-female pair is the fundamental social unit of E. fulvus and suggest that female partnership with individual males obviates dominance behavior, including female dominance, in this lemurid primate.
M E Pereira; C A McGlynn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of primatology     Volume:  43     ISSN:  0275-2565     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Primatol.     Publication Date:  1997  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-12-10     Completed Date:  1997-12-10     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108949     Medline TA:  Am J Primatol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  239-58     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 17837, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Agonistic Behavior
Lemuridae* / physiology,  psychology
Pair Bond*
Sex Factors
Social Dominance*
Grant Support
Erratum In:
Am J Primatol 1998;44(1):85

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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