Dominance rank and mating success in male primates

  title={Dominance rank and mating success in male primates},
  author={Guy Cowlishaw and Robin I. M. Dunbar},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
Male dominance rank and reproductive success in primate groups
In this study on wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), a relatively strong correlation between rank and reproductive success is found which is attributable to selective mating by the alpha male during fertile periods of the females.
Male Dominance Rank, Female Mate Choice and Male Mating and Reproductive Success in Captive Chimpanzees
It is concluded that male dominance rank is an important determinant of male mating and reproductive success in captive (and presumably wild) chimpanzees and that female mate choice is of minor importance in modulating male reproductive outcome.
Dominance and mating success: a reply to Barton & Simpson
Reproductive success in relation to dominance rank in the absence of prime‐age males in Barbary macaques
In some primate species dominance rank of males is correlated with reproductive success, whereas in other species this relationship is inconsistent. Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) live in a
Male coalitions and female behaviour affect male mating success independent of dominance rank and female receptive synchrony in wild Barbary macaques
It is shown that alternative male and female mating strategies are effective in reducing the monopolisation potential of the dominant male by examining different factors affecting mating skew in wild Barbary macaques.
Male Mating Tactics in Captive Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta): The Influence of Dominance, Markets, and Relationship Quality
It is concluded that both male rank and male–female “friendship” determined male mating access in these rhesus macaques, but that “friendship” was more important in determining paternity, emphasizing the importance of intersex social bonds in male mating success in multimale primate societies.
Fitness-related benefits of dominance in primates.
The view that dominance hierarchies are a key aspect of primate societies as they indeed provide a number of fitness-related benefits to individuals is supported.
Social Variables Affecting Mate Preferences, Copulation and Reproductive Outcome in a Pack of Free-Ranging Dogs
The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication, finding that both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership.
Why dominants do not consistently attain high mating and reproductive success: A review of longitudinal Japanese macaque studies
This work reviews these hypotheses based on long-term data from provisioned and unprovisioned populations of Japanese macaques and concludes that non-reproductive mating may provide differential benefit to high-ranking females for access to limited food resources in some habitats but overall the relationship was inconclusive.


Male age, dominance, and mating success among rhesus macaques.
  • C. Mcmillan
  • Psychology, Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1989
Data from a study of rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago showed that subadult males mated significantly less than adults, and young, fully adult males have the best chance of fathering offspring regardless of their dominance rank.
Dominance and reproductive success in primates
Better insights into the relationship between dominance and reproduction are potentially offered by improved genetic paternity measures, new models of social and demographic processes, and the recent availability of life history data from field studies.
Dominance, aggression and reproduction in primate societies.
  • I. Bernstein
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 1976
Dominance and fertility among female primates
Observations that dominant individuals sometimes feed on better quality foods, expend less energy or time in obtaining food, or are interrupted less often when feeding, indicate that the effects of competition on fertility could be working through nutrition.
Social rank, observability, and sexual behaviour of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).
The frequency of mating activity in freeranging social bands of rhesus monkeys in the La Parguera, Puerto Rico colony, when corrected for the observability of males, revealed no significant differences in the performance of sexual behaviour by males of differing social ranks.
Sexual dimorphism in primates
The results indicate that, at least for simian primates, body size reduction in females has played a major role in the evolution of sexual size dimorphism.
Male dominance and aggression in Japanese macaque reproduction.
  • G. Eaton
  • Psychology, Biology
    Advances in behavioral biology
  • 1974
It is concluded that dominance in caged baboons is a social construct that is maintained by the behavior of lower-ranking animals and that female primate sexual receptivity is not necessarily related to ovulation, so it would be difficult for traits that contribute to dominance to be selected through reproductive success.
Female choice in nonhuman primates
An evolutionary framework and sophisticated mathematical models are used to evaluate female choice, and there is no evidence that selection for particular males affects conception or fitness, or male characteristics.