Perineal swellings: A social and endocrine advantage for Barbary macaque females (Macaca sylvanus)

Author(s)
Bernard Wallner, Hermann Prossinger, Erich Möstl
Abstract

This study focuses the relationship between social rank, intersexual behavior, age, fecal cortisol equivalent excretion rates and perineal swelling size in contraceptive- treated Macaca sylvanus females. Behavioral data and fecal samples were collected during a twenty-week period from 24 females. Females were categorized with regard to perineal swelling (enlarged or reduced), and to their dominance rank (high or low); we found that swelling size was not associated with it. However, females with an enlarged perineum received more male grooming interactions, had closer spatial relations to males, and received significantly more interventions from males than did the others. Endocrinologically, females with enlarged swelling showed decreased fecal cortisol equivalent excretion rates. Multiple regression models showed a positive relationship between the extent of the swelling size and grooming, inspection and spatial relation. There was a negative relationship between the extent of swelling size and fecal cortisol equivalents. These results imply that enlarged perineal swellings among implanted Barbary macaque females have a greater impact on intersexual contact and adrenocortical activity than does social rank or age.

Organisation(s)
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
External organisation(s)
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Journal
Collegium Antropologicum
Volume
23
Pages
451-459
No. of pages
9
ISSN
0350-6134
Publication date
1999
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
1060 Biology
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/perineal-swellings-a-social-and-endocrine-advantage-for-barbary-macaque-females-macaca-sylvanus(3971ef8f-91e3-4734-ba67-7d2110ac91ad).html