The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Paternal kin recognition in female, captive, grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus)


1Sch Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University, 2Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hanover

Saturday 1:00-1:15, Grand Ballroom II Add to calendar

Paternal kin recognition may enable females to avoid mating with close male kin, however the proximate mechanisms underlying such recognition are difficult to determine. We investigated both the production and perception of mate advertisement calls in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) housed at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover. We performed acoustic analyses to test whether males produce mate advertisement calls that are distinctive by kin group. We analyzed 49 spectral and temporal variables in 10 calls from each of nine males, representing three patrilines. We conducted a principal components analysis of the acoustic variables and put the resulting component scores into a permutated discriminant function analysis (pDFA) with a nested design (individual nested within patriline) and found that 80% of the calls were accurately classified by kin group. We conducted playback experiments to investigate how nonestrous females (n=10) perceive and respond to mate advertisement calls from their fathers and unrelated males. We performed principle components analysis on the 11 behavioral variables measured during playback experiments (e.g., time spent looking toward the speaker, latency to approach speaker) and put the resulting component scores into Bonferroni corrected Wilcoxon paired sample tests. Nine of the 10 females paid more attention to calls from their fathers than from unrelated males. Thus, males produce calls that are distinctive by patriline and nonestrous females respond differently to calls from paternal kin and nonkin. This is the first test for vocal recognition of kin in a nongregarious, nocturnal strepsirrhine primate.

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