Sexual swellings advertise female quality in wild baboons

  title={Sexual swellings advertise female quality in wild baboons},
  author={Leah G. Domb and Mark Pagel},
The females of many Old World primate species produce prominent and conspicuous swellings of the perineal skin around the time of ovulation. These sexual swellings have been proposed to increase competition among males for females or to increase the likelihood of a female getting fertilized, by signalling either a female's general reproductive status, or the timing of her ovulation. Here we show that sexual swellings in wild baboons reliably advertise a female's reproductive value over her… 

Paternal care and the evolution of exaggerated sexual swellings in primates.

The Paternal Care Hypothesis is proposed, which posits that exaggerated sexual swellings function to elicit the right quantity and quality of male care for a female's infant and predicts that true paternal care will be most common in species in which exaggerated swellings accurately signal the probability of conception, and males can monopolize females during the window of highest conception probability.

Exaggerated estrous swellings and male mate choice in primates: testing the reliable indicator hypothesis in the Amboseli baboons

Testing and rejecting the reliable indicator hypothesis for the function of exaggerated swellings in cercopithecine primates found unambiguous evidence that males biased their mating decisions in favor of females who had experienced more sexual cycles since their most recent pregnancy.

Signals of female reproductive quality and fertility in colony‐living baboons (Papio h. anubis) in relation to ensuring paternal investment

It is suggested that captive female olive baboons (Papio h. anubis) provide fathers with reliable signals of their fertile period, and the maximum anogenital swelling (AGA) typically coincided with a 4‐day fertile window of ovulation, which occurred 2–3 days prior to deturgescence.

Multimodal Sexual Signaling and Mating Behavior in Olive Baboons (Papio anubis)

It is suggested that whereas all males could have information concerning the timing of ovulation through female proceptive behaviors and swelling size, consorting males may have access to additional signals (olfactory cues).

Effects of Sexual Selection Upon Sperm Morphology and Sexual Skin Morphology in Primates

Comparative morphometric studies revealed a positive relationship between volume of the sperm midpiece, occurrences of multiple partner matings by females, and large relative testes sizes, which indicate sperm competition, and possible effects of sexual selection upon sperm morphology, and sexual skin morphology, in primates.



The evolution of conspicuous oestrous advertisement in Old World monkeys

It is argued that prominent oestrous swellings are sexually selected traits that reliably advertise some aspect of a female's quality or condition, and which have evolved because of competition among females to attract males.

The evolution of exaggerated sexual swellings in primates and the graded-signal hypothesis

  • C. Nunn
  • Biology, Psychology
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1999
It is suggested that exaggerated swellings can be viewed as distributions representing the probability of ovulation (the graded-signal hypothesis), which makes testable predictions for future comparative and observational research.

Reproductive constraints on aggressive competition in female baboons

It is reported here that high-ranking female baboons at Gombe National Park, Tanzania, enjoy shorter interbirth intervals, improved infant survival, and accelerated maturation of their daughters, but these advantages are countered by a significantly higher probability of miscarriage, and a proportion of high- ranking females suffer from reduced fertility.

Information content of sexual swellings and fecal steroids in sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys)

The accuracy and precision of sexual swellings and fecal steroids as measures of ovarian function and the periovulatory period were compared in 4 sexually mature, individually housed, sooty mangabey females to illustrate the utility of fecal steroid analysis for further evaluation of the signal value of sexual skin and its role in mating interactions.

Condition-dependent signalling of genetic variation in stalk-eyed flies

It is shown that genetic variation underlies the response to environmental stress of a sexual ornament (male eye span) in the stalk-eyed fly Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni, and this results strongly support the hypothesis that female mate choice yields genetic benefits for offspring.

The Development of Sociosexual Behaviour in Free-Living Baboons, Papio Anubis

The development of mounting behaviour and the communicatory functions of mounting were studied in a free-living troop of olive baboons in the Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, over a period of 16 months, finding that important changes in mounting development seem to occur both during the early months of life and around puberty.

The Relationship between Concealed Ovulation and Mating Systems in Anthropoid Primates: A Phylogenetic Analysis

There is a linkage between absence of ovulation signs and monogamy, but the temporal relationship is generally such that the lack of ovulatory signs is more likely to promote monogamy than monogamy is to promote a lack of Ovulatory signs.