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Cyclicity in the structure of female baboon social networks


Henzi, S P; Lusseau, D; Weingrill, T; van Schaik, C P; Barrett, L (2009). Cyclicity in the structure of female baboon social networks. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 63(7):1015-1021.

Abstract

There is an established and very influential view
that primate societies have identifiable, persistent social
organizations. It assumes that association patterns reflect
long-term strategic interests that are not qualitatively
perturbed by short-term environmental variability. We used
data from two baboon troops in markedly different habitats
over three consecutive seasons to test this assumption. Our
results demonstrate pronounced cyclicity in the extent to
which females maintained differentiated relationships.
When food was plentiful, the companionships identified
by social network analysis in the food-scarce season
disappeared and were replaced by casual acquaintanceships
more representative of mere gregariousness. Data from the
fourth, food-scarce, season at one site indicated that few
companions were re-united. It is likely that this reflected
stochastic variation in individual circumstances. These
results suggest that attention could profitably be paid to
the effects of short-term local contingencies on social
dynamics, and has implications for current theories of
primate cognitive evolution.

There is an established and very influential view
that primate societies have identifiable, persistent social
organizations. It assumes that association patterns reflect
long-term strategic interests that are not qualitatively
perturbed by short-term environmental variability. We used
data from two baboon troops in markedly different habitats
over three consecutive seasons to test this assumption. Our
results demonstrate pronounced cyclicity in the extent to
which females maintained differentiated relationships.
When food was plentiful, the companionships identified
by social network analysis in the food-scarce season
disappeared and were replaced by casual acquaintanceships
more representative of mere gregariousness. Data from the
fourth, food-scarce, season at one site indicated that few
companions were re-united. It is likely that this reflected
stochastic variation in individual circumstances. These
results suggest that attention could profitably be paid to
the effects of short-term local contingencies on social
dynamics, and has implications for current theories of
primate cognitive evolution.

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59 citations in Web of Science®
65 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:01 Sep 2009 08:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:20
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-5443
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-009-0720-y
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20434

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