Females drive primate social evolution.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Within and across species of primates, the number of males in primate groups is correlated with the number of females. This correlation may arise owing to ecological forces operating on females, with subsequent competition among males for access to groups of females. The temporal relationship between changes in male and female group membership remains unexplored in primates and other mammalian groups. We used a phylogenetic comparative method for detecting evolutionary lag to test whether evolutionary change in the number of males lags behind change in the number of females. We found that change in male membership in primate groups is positively correlated with divergence time in pairwise comparisons. This result is consistent with male numbers adjusting to female group size and highlights the importance of focusing on females when studying primate social evolution.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lindenfors, P; Fröberg, L; Nunn, CL

Published Date

  • February 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 271 Suppl 3 /

Start / End Page

  • S101 - S103

PubMed ID

  • 15101432

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1809975

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2954

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0962-8452

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0114


  • eng