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. 2016 Jul;78(7):731-44.
doi: 10.1002/ajp.22537. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

The Ties That Bind: Maternal Kin Bias in a Multilevel Primate Society Despite Natal Dispersal by Both Sexes


The Ties That Bind: Maternal Kin Bias in a Multilevel Primate Society Despite Natal Dispersal by Both Sexes

Veronika Städele et al. Am J Primatol. .


In many social animals, individuals derive fitness benefits from close social bonds, which are often formed among kin of the philopatric sex. Hamadryas baboons, however, exhibit a hierarchical, multilevel social system where both sexes disperse from their natal one-male-unit (OMU). Although this would seem to hinder maintenance of kin ties, both sexes appear largely philopatric at the higher order band and clan levels, possibly allowing for bonds with same sex kin by both males and females. In order to investigate the possibility of kin bonds in hamadryas baboons, we identified kin dyads in a band without known pedigree information using a large panel of genetic markers: 1 Y-linked, 4 X-linked, and 23 autosomal microsatellites and part of the mitochondrial hypervariable region I. With these data, we performed a kinship analysis while accounting for misclassification rates through simulations and determined kinship among two types of dyads: leader and follower males and female dyads within OMUs. Leader and follower males were maternal relatives more often than expected by chance, suggesting that kinship plays a role in the formation of these relationships. Moreover, maternal female relatives were found in the same OMU more often than expected by chance, indicating that females may be motivated to maintain post-dispersal contact with maternal female kin. Our results suggest that hamadryas baboons can recognize maternal kin and that kin selection has contributed to shaping their complex social system. This implies that an ancestral maternal kin bias has been retained in hamadryas society. Am. J. Primatol. 78:731-744, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: affiliation; female choice; hamadryas baboon; kin selection; kinship.

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