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Facial width-to-height ratio is associated with agonistic and affiliative dominance in bonobos (Pan paniscus)


Martin, J S; Staes, N; Weiss, A; Stevens, J M G; Jaeggi, A V (2019). Facial width-to-height ratio is associated with agonistic and affiliative dominance in bonobos (Pan paniscus). Biology Letters, 15(8):20190232.

Abstract

Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is associated with social dominance in human and non-human primates, which may reflect the effects of testosterone on facial morphology and behaviour. Given that testosterone facilitates status-seeking motivation, the association between fWHR and behaviour should be contingent on the relative costs and benefits of particular dominance strategies across species and socioecological contexts. We tested this hypothesis in bonobos (Pan paniscus), who exhibit female dominance and rely on both affiliation and aggression to achieve status. We measured fWHR from facial photographs, affiliative dominance with Assertiveness personality scores and agonistic dominance with behavioural data. Consistent with our hypothesis, agonistic and affiliative dominance predicted fWHR in both sexes independent of age and body weight, supporting the role of status-seeking motivation in producing the link between fWHR and socioecologically relevant dominance behaviour across primates.

Abstract

Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is associated with social dominance in human and non-human primates, which may reflect the effects of testosterone on facial morphology and behaviour. Given that testosterone facilitates status-seeking motivation, the association between fWHR and behaviour should be contingent on the relative costs and benefits of particular dominance strategies across species and socioecological contexts. We tested this hypothesis in bonobos (Pan paniscus), who exhibit female dominance and rely on both affiliation and aggression to achieve status. We measured fWHR from facial photographs, affiliative dominance with Assertiveness personality scores and agonistic dominance with behavioural data. Consistent with our hypothesis, agonistic and affiliative dominance predicted fWHR in both sexes independent of age and body weight, supporting the role of status-seeking motivation in producing the link between fWHR and socioecologically relevant dominance behaviour across primates.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous), General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Language:English
Date:30 August 2019
Deposited On:28 Aug 2019 14:52
Last Modified:28 Aug 2019 14:53
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:1744-9561
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0232

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