Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
Thursday Afternoon, 301D
For this study, we used a subset of data from 24 months of behavioral research on adult kinda baboons (Papio kindae) in Kasanka National Park, Zambia to investigate 1) the proportion of time males and females spend in proximity to one another, 2) the amount of time kinda females spend in proximity to other females compared to males, and 3) the frequency and directionality of opposite-sex grooming interactions. We examined 797 ten-minute focal samples totaling approximately 130 hours of data collection.
Grooming interactions were highly asymmetrical between the sexes, with male-to-female interactions accounting for 65% of observed opposite-sex groomings.
We calculated composite proximity scores (C-scores) in order to examine patterns of association among adults of both sexes as the number of observed associations over the sampling effort of dyad members, across distances of 0- 6 meters. C-scores show that all adult males and all adult females formed close associations, or “friendships,” with one or more opposite-sex partners. Females on average had 2 male partners while males had 3.5. 52.3% of all proximity interactions were between males and females, 41.6% were among females, and the remaining 6.1% were among males.
These results stand in sharp contrast to findings in studies of other ‘savannah baboon’ species which are female-bonded, and to studies of baboon species in which females are the primary groomer in male-female relationships and rates of affiliative female-female interactions are higher than male-female interactions.
This research was supported by the American Society of Anthropology, Lambda Alpha, Idea Wild, Washington University in St. Louis, The U.S. Fulbright Program, and P.E.O. International.