Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Hierarchy, kinship and social interaction among Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata)

      Mewa Singh Lancy D’Souza Mridula Singh

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      The study reports the relationship between hierarchy, genetic relatedness and social interaction in captive Japanese macaques. Grooming and proximity were found to be positively related to both dominance rank and degrees of relatedness. Ranks also positively correlated with threats while no relationship was observed between genetic relationships and agonistic interactions. The removal of a-male tightened the male hierarchy while the female hierarchy became relatively loose. Affiliative behaviour became more correlated with ranks than degrees of genetic relatedness. In the absence of α-male, the next dominant male avoided involvement in either agonistic or afliliative interactions with reintroduced animals and group females.

    • Dominance hierarchy and social grooming in female lion- tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in the Western Ghats, India

      Mridula Singh B A Krishna Mewa Singh

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      This article reports the structure of dominance and its relationship with social grooming in wild lion-tailed macaque females. The strength of dominance hierarchy was 0.79 on a scale of 0 to 1 indicating a moderate linearity in the ranking system. Dominance scores were converted into an ordinal as well as an interval scale. Grooming scores were also converted into interval scales using standard scores. Grooming received and grooming given correlated positively and negatively respectively with dominance ranks indicating that high ranking females received more and gave less grooming. Grooming was also positively related to encounter rates for dyads of females. More grooming among adjacent ranks, and grooming being more reciprocal, occurred only in the case of dominant females. The grooming patterns, therefore, appeared to be more of despotic than egalitarian nature. While ranking macaques into different Grades of social systems ranging from despotic to egalitarian, Thierry (2004) has placed lion-tailed macaques in Grade 3 corresponding to the ‘relaxed’ social system. Our results indicate that the grooming and dominance relationships in this species are more despotic, and hence, the Grade for this species requires to be shifted toward 2 or 1.

    • Diet-dependent habitat shifts at different life stages of two sympatric primate species


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      A shift or expansion of the realized niche at different life stages is often ignored while implementing conservation actions.We tested whether habitat extent and associations at different life stages of two sympatric primate species belonging to thesame taxonomic family vary with respect to their dietary requirements. We expected the groups and solitary males of afrugivorous species to have a smaller extent of suitable habitat than those of a folivorous species. We used MaxEntmodelling to create habitat suitability maps using occurrence records and high-resolution remotely sensed environmentallayers for groups and solitary males of highly frugivorous lion-tailed macaques and highly folivorous Nilgiri langurs in theWestern Ghats, India. We found that the Nilgiri langur groups and lion-tailed macaque groups occupied a similar extent inour study area. However, due to weaker restrictions, the Nilgiri langur groups were observed to inhabit a broader variety ofhabitats than the lion-tailed macaque groups. Solitary males of both the lion-tailed macaque and Nilgiri langur migratethroughout the landscape, with only a 50% habitat overlap with their respective groups. We propose that a species’ dietaryrequirements have differential effects on habitat use, especially during dispersal, at the solitary stage in males.

    • Do males bond? A study of male-male relationships in Nicobar long-tailed macaques Macaca fascicularis umbrosus


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      In primates, males compete for a mate, which is a non-sharable resource. This makes the conditions lessconducive for males to have stable relationships. One such special kind of relationship is a bond where theinteractions are reciprocated, equitable and differentiated. Bonds in macaque societies are based on the degreeof within-group contest competition for mates which is dependent on the synchronization of female fertilephase and reliability of fertility signals. Species of the Fascicularis group, including Nicobar subspecies, showintermediate reliability in the signals with mild peaks, and studies have shown reciprocity but no differentiation.We conducted a study on a group of wild Nicobar long-tailed macaques Macaca fascicularis umbrosusto understand the existing patterns of male-male relationships. We examined whether there is reciprocity inaffiliation among the individuals and whether the rate of affiliation is balanced. We also measured the dominancelinearity and steepness in the group to understand the monopolizability of females. We used socialnetwork analysis to understand whether the relations are differentiated based on hierarchical position andwhether the high-ranking individuals are the most central individuals in the distribution of grooming in thegroup. We found that there is reciprocity among the males although that is not equitable. There was no rank relateddifferentiation of affiliation among the males of the group. Instead, the identities of individualsinfluenced affiliation patterns. Our results correspond to the existent strong relationships but lack of social bondotherwise found in the Fascicularis group of macaques.

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