Relatedness and Social Behaviors inCercopithecus solatus

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Inclusive fitness and kin selection theories predict that organisms will evolve biased behavior toward kin when the inclusive fitness benefits outweigh the costs of such behaviors. Researchers have long observed that primates bias their behavior toward relatives, particularly maternal kin. We examined the effect of kinship on social behaviors in a semifree-ranging colony of Cercopithecus solatus, a poorly studied forest guenon species. We used microsatellite loci and paternity analyses to determine the degree of relatedness between individuals, as well as kinship. Individuals biased some of their behavior according to relatedness. Specifically, related individuals are more spatially associated and less aggressive toward each other. When we replaced the relatedness coefficients with defined kin categories, Cercopithecus solatus seemed to behave preferentially toward maternal kin versus paternal kin. Even though the setting of the colony and the small sample size limit our conclusions, we discuss the potential implications of our finding for the study of the impact of kin selection in primate social relationships.

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