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Lecture 22 - Other Aspects of Primate Biology and Behaviour

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Esteban Parra

ANT203Y5 – BiologicalAnthropology Lecture 22 – January 21, 2014 Other Aspects of Primate Biology and Behaviour Primate Sexuality - Humans are generally thought to be unique in aspects of sexuality - This is wrong. Much of our behavior is shared with many non-human primates - Most mammals have estrus (heat) a short period over which females are receptive to copulation o In primates and anthropoids, this isn’t the case - Prosimians have estrus and only copulate at these times - Anthropoids (monkeys, apes, and humans) do not restrict mating behavior to a single time period even though there still is a single short time per cycle (ovulation) when the fertilization is possible Female Anthropoid Sexuality - Female anthropoid sexual behavior, unlike most mammals, cannot be easily described in terms of estrus - Anthropoid sexual behavior is generally not under strict hormonal control o Sexual behavior in prepubescent individuals o Sexual behavior at times other than ovulation - Sexual attractiveness – ability to illicit sexual activity in males - Proceptivity – behavior by females in order to initiate sexual interactions with males - Receptivity – willingness of female to accept male and permit copulation Peri-Ovulatory Period - Female anthropoids will often undergo physical and behavior changes in the peri- ovulatory period (time around ovulation) - Sexual attractiveness will increase as will proceptive and receptive behaviors - In most species copulation is not restricted to this time, but copulatory frequency will increase Example: - One example of a proceptive behavior among New World Monkeys is the “precopulatory tongue protrusion” - The red howler showing the “tongue-pumping” behavior used by both sexes to invite copulation. - Afemale common marmoset displaying proceptive tongue flicking behavior. Biology and Behaviour Work Together - Female Chacma baboon shows maximal sexual skin swelling and exhibits proceptive behavior engaging male with eye contact while presenting during the peri-ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. Female Proceptive Behaviour ANT203Y5 – BiologicalAnthropology Lecture 22 – January 21, 2014 - The prof doesn’t require us to know this list - This list is just showing us the abilities of this behaviour Who has Orgasms? - Males and females of many non-human primates show physiological signs of orgasm during coitus o Facial displays (climax face), particular vocalizations (“laughing vocalization” in chimps), limb spasms o Increase in heart rate, and uterine contractions in females - Masturbation observed in many non-human primates IncestAvoidance in Primates - Inbreeding result in higher prevalence of recessive genetic disease - Males or females move from natal group - Prior to Freud, Wertermarck proposed that close association between individuals during childhood inhibits sexual attraction later in life - Good evidence that close relatives within social groups avoid mating with one another Jane Goodall - 1986 analysis of frequency of mother/son and sister/brother mating Primate Communication - Snowflake died of skin cancer - He was an albino gorilla Smell in Primates - The sense of smell is very important in prosimians and New World Monkeys. Olfactory communication is less developed in Old World Monkeys. o Loresis, lemeurs ANT203Y5 – BiologicalAnthropology Lecture 22 – January 21, 2014 - In primates, scent is most frequently used for interindividual and intergroup spacing, dominance and combative (agonistic) interactions, and as an indicator of sexual state. Scent Marking in Prosimians and New World Monkeys - Prosimians, and to a lesser extent, New World Monkeys, have specialized skin glands for marking. - They spend considerable time scent marking, and in some cases they have very elaborate and stereotyped marking behaviors (e.g. L. catta and some New World Monkeys). - Prosimians and New World Monkeys do not have a large repertoire
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