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. 2015 Jan;78:103-13.
doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.10.019. Epub 2014 Nov 25.

Fine-scale Genetic Assessment of Sex-Specific Dispersal Patterns in a Multilevel Primate Society


Fine-scale Genetic Assessment of Sex-Specific Dispersal Patterns in a Multilevel Primate Society

Veronika Städele et al. J Hum Evol. .


Like humans, hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) are unusual among primates in having a multilevel social system and stable pair bonds, and are thus a useful model for the evolution of human sociality. While the kinship structure and sex-biased dispersal patterns that underlie human social organization have been extensively elucidated, the impact of these factors on the social system of hamadryas baboons is currently unclear. Here we use genetic analysis of individuals to elucidate the patterns of male and female dispersal across multiple levels of society in a wild population of hamadryas baboons. We characterized 244 members of five hamadryas bands at Filoha, Ethiopia by genotyping one Y-linked and 23 autosomal microsatellite loci and sequencing part of the mitochondrial hypervariable control region I. We found both male and female dispersal to be limited at the level of the band, with more movement of females than males among bands. By integrating long-term behavioral data for Band 1, we also found evidence for male and female philopatry at the clan level. We speculate that male philopatry at the clan level and female dispersal across one-male units and clans may enable both kin-based cooperation among males and the maintenance of kin bonds among females after dispersal. This would mean that, as in humans, kin bonds within both sexes are a core feature of the hamadryas social system, thus contributing to our understanding of the evolution of social organization in humans.

Keywords: Genotyping; Noninvasive sampling; Papio hamadryas; Philopatry; Social system.

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