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22 - Modeling the origins of primate sociality: social fl exibility and kinship in mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.)

from Part IV - Cheirogaleidae: sensory ecology, communication, and cognition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2016

Sharon E. Kessler
Affiliation:
McGill University, Canada
Ute Radespiel
Affiliation:
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany
Leanne T. Nash
Affiliation:
Arizona State University, USA
Elke Zimmermann
Affiliation:
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany
Shawn M. Lehman
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Ute Radespiel
Affiliation:
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
Elke Zimmermann
Affiliation:
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
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Summary

The dawn of primate social complexity: kin selection in asocial mammals

Since Hamilton's ground-breaking theory of inclusive fitness in 1964, kin-biased behavior has been theorized to have played a crucial role in the evolution of mammalian sociality (Hamilton, 1964; de Waal and Tyack, 2003; Chapais and Berman, 2004). Given the amount of attention given to the topic over the subsequent decades, it is surprising that while group-living and social complexity has evolved multiple times in mammals, we still know very little about how this process occurs (Waser and Jones, 1983; Müller and Thalmann, 2000; de Waal and Tyack, 2003). In this section we review what is known about ancestral mammals and how they were the foundation for the evolution of ancestral primates.

Ancestral mammals are believed to have been asocial, as are many extant mammal species (Waser and Jones, 1983; Müller and Thalmann, 2000). Asocial species forage alone and maintain no relationships outside of the mating and infant-rearing seasons (Charles-Dominique, 1974, 1978; Waser and Jones, 1983; Müller and Thalmann, 2000). Interactions between adults, including adult kin, are marked by avoidance and aggression (Charles-Dominique, 1974; Waser and Jones, 1983; Müller and Thalmann, 2000). This is note-worthy because in many species, females typically disperse shorter distances than males, leading to a spatial clustering of female kin (Waser and Jones, 1983; Stoen et al., 2005; Maher, 2009). For many scientists, it is this spatial clustering of kin which is the first step towards increasing sociality (Waser and Jones, 1983; Perrin and Lehmann, 2001; Kappeler et al., 2002; Lutermann et al., 2006; Meshriy et al., 2011; Messier et al., 2012). The transition to group-living is believed to have occurred through solitary foraging (Müller and Thalmann, 2000). Extant solitary foragers forage alone, but, in contrast to the asocial mammalian ancestors, maintain year-round social networks, communicating with conspecifics via scent-marks and vocalizations (Charles-Dominique, 1974, 1978; Zimmermann, 1990, 1995a, 1995b, 2010; Müller and Thalmann, 2000; Nash, 2004; see also Chapter 21). Individuals may interact affiliatively during their active periods and sometimes sleep in social groups, often consisting of matrilineal kin, during the inactive periods (e.g., Radespiel et al., 2001b; Eberle and Kappeler 2006; for review, see Müller and Thalmann, 2000).

Type
Chapter
Information
The Dwarf and Mouse Lemurs of Madagascar
Biology, Behavior and Conservation Biogeography of the Cheirogaleidae
, pp. 422 - 446
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2016

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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.

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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.

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