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Joyce Parga

January 19 2012Social and Mating SystemsChapter 5 pg 119132 y Mating Patterns o Being a limiting resource puts female primates in an influential position when it comes to males o Female primates determine the behavioural options and reproductive opportunities available to males o Primate mating should reflect the compromises between female and male strategies to gain access to mates food and other resources that they and their offspring need to survive o Mating Patterns When Females Are SolitaryCore Areas and area in which one or more individuals spend most of their time and obtain most of their foodMonogamy technically speaking a mating system in which one male reproduces exclusively with onefemale y A male can join up with a single female on a shared and mutually defended territory from which together they exclude intruders of both sexes y When a male establishes a longterm bond with a female he essentially ties his reproductive fate to hers y By foregoing his higher reproductive potential he can increase his ability to monitor the fidelity of his mate and therefore gain some confidence of his paternity of any offspring she produces y Paternity Certainty certainty as to which male sired an offspring y May not have absolute paternity certainty but they behave like they do y The female gains an ally in defending her food resources against other females and because his reproductive success is tied to hers she can exact high levels of male investment y These pairbonded adults together with their mutual biological offspring form the biological and social equivalent of a nuclear family y Nuclear Family social group consisting of two parents and their mutual offspring y Sexual monomorphism characterizes all pairbonded primates y But not all sexually monomorphic primates are monogamous An Extreme Form of Polygyny a mating system whereby one male mates with two or more different females y A male can try to repel competitors from a territory that encompasses the smaller core areas used by a few solitary females y In some species a male who attempts to singlehandedly monopolize access to more than one solitary female is taking big risks presumable in exchange for potentially big reproductive gains y Neighboring territorial males and males who lack territories of their own pose constant threats and require constant vigilance y While he is off feeding or reconnoitering with a female in one part of his territory the other females in other parts of his territory are vulnerable to incursions from outsiders y A single monopolizes access to multiple females y Widespread across primates and usually occurs when a single male either joins an established female group or succeeds in attracting dispersing females into new groups y Common among nocturnal prosimians but among diurnal primates it occurs only in some populations of orangutans y Female orangutans are thought to avoid exclusive associations with a single male because of the greater energy and time expenditure they would incur in finding sufficient food with another adult around y Perhaps the greatest assistance a male could provide her is to prevent other males from harassing her y With territorial males keeping tabs on more than their equal share of females there is a surplus of less fortunate males in the population y Unable to compete for territories themselves these undeveloped males have few options other than to adopt transient lifestyles o Slip in and out of female core areas and cross the territorial boundaries staked out by larger males o Looking for unoccupied places where they can set up their own territorial bases o Sons who come back periodically to visit their mothers and perhaps to ascertain whether a vacancy as the territorial male in the area has opened up o Others may be looking for estrous females that are unattended by a territorial male and thus vulnerable to stealing an opportunity to mate y Female orangutans generally resist the sexual advances made by transient males particularly at times when they are most likely to conceive y The ferocity of their resistance has labeled them victims of forced copulations
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