Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-dnltx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-20T17:02:04.440Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

CHAPTER 4 - The evolution of social monogamy in primates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2014

Carel P. Van Schaik
Affiliation:
Duke University
Peter M. Kappeler
Affiliation:
German Primate Center
Ulrich H. Reichard
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie, Germany
Christophe Boesch
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie, Germany
Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

Empathy probably guides most hypotheses about social Behaviour (Hrdy, 1986), or at least the amount of attention given to particular problems. For several decades now, behavioural biologists have been fascinated with sexual monogamy, or its absence, in both birds and mammals. However, the question of the evolution of social monogamy has also been a topic of sustained interest (e.g., Kleiman, 1977; Barlow, 1988; Komers & Brotherton, 1997; Fuentes, 2000). Unfortunately, despite this interest, a comprehensive model of the evolution of social monogamy, at least among mammals, has so far eluded us, quite possibly because there are both multiple pathways leading up to it, and multiple benefits favouring its maintenance in different lineages. There is, accordingly, little hope for a simple unitary model for the evolution of social monogamy.

In this chapter, we examine the evolution of social monogamy in one mammalian lineage: primates. Primates are a very suitable group for a study of the evolution of social monogamy. Pairs are remarkably common among them (Kleiman, 1977; Müller & Thalmann, 2000), and range from dispersed to associated, and from variable to uniform. In the following paragraphs we outline our approach to this question.

Our focus is on the evolution of pairs as a social system, i.e., the associations and social interactions among individual animals. The social system encompasses the social organization (its size, composition, and spatiotemporal cohesion), the mating system, and social structure (patterning of social interactions and relationships among members of the social unit) (Kappeler & van Schaik, 2002).

Type
Chapter
Information
Monogamy
Mating Strategies and Partnerships in Birds, Humans and Other Mammals
, pp. 59 - 80
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×