Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Male–male bonds as a key to the evolution of complex social systems

10.09.2014

German Primate Center (DPZ) study shows tolerance and cooperative ties between male Guinea baboons

Contests, threats, at best ignore one another: The relationships between male mammals are usually described in this or a similar way. The situation is quite different in humans where strong partnerships and close ties between unrelated men are widespread.


Male Guinea baboons (Papio papio) are grooming each other. Photo: Julia Fischer


Male Guinea baboons (Papio papio) form close cooperative connections with both related and unrelated conspecifics. Photo: Julia Fischer

Ranging from the joint construction of a hut up to the decisions of Executive Board members, there are countless examples that friendships among men bring decisive advantages and are a core ingredient of the complexity of human societies.

In their recently published study, Julia Fischer and her colleagues from the German Primate Center (DPZ) in Göttingen found that male Guinea baboons are tolerant and cooperative towards their same-sex conspecifics, even if they are not related. In this way, males actively contribute to the cohesion of their multilevel Baboon society. Guinea baboons are therefore a valuable model to understand the social evolution of humans (Patzelt et al., 2014, PNAS).

Within a long-term field study conducted at the DPZ Research Station Simenti in Senegal, a population of Guinea baboons was observed over a period of two years. The scientists found that the social organization of the Guinea baboon has three tiers.

The smallest and central units of the society are so-called parties comprising of three to four males with their associated females and their infants. Close social bonds between males are formed within the parties. The next higher level is the gang that consists of two or three parties. Also within the gang, some friendly social interactions between males could be observed. The third level includes all animals that share a home range and is referred to as a community.

"The degree of kinship did not affect the social interaction. The males form close cooperative connections with both related and unrelated conspecifics", says Julia Fischer, head of the Cognitive Ethology Laboratory at the German Primate Center. Furthermore, the male Guinea baboons showed far less rivalry as well as less aggression towards females than for example the chacma baboons. Interestingly, traits associated with intersexual competition such as the size of their canine teeth or testicles were also smaller in Guinea baboons than in other species.

"Our results show that a complex social organization builds on the emergence and maintenance of cooperation regardless of the genetic relationships", says Julia Fischer. Humans live in a multilevel social system too, where the smallest unit is the family. Within traditional societies, male individuals enter strong cooperative relationships with each other regardless of the degree of kinship. The occurrence of these bonds is associated with the evolutionary development of multilevel societies. „In order to understand our social evolution non-human primates who live in complex communities are important models", says Julia Fischer.

In future studies, the researchers want to investigate the role of females in the male friendships. Perhaps they prefer males with an established network and can thereby contribute to a more intensive friendship between males.

Original publication
Patzelt A et al. (2014): Male tolerance and male-male bonds in a multilevel primate society. PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1405811111

Contact
Prof. Dr. Julia Fischer
Tel: +49 551 3851-375
E-mail: jfischer@dpz.eu

Dr. Susanne Diederich (Communication)
Tel: +49 551 3851-359
E-mail: sdiederich@dpz.eu

Printable pictures are available in our Mediathek. We kindly request a specimen copy in case of publication.

The German Primate Center (DPZ) – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research conducts biological and biomedical research with primates in infection research, neuroscience and primate biology. The DPZ maintains three field stations in the tropics and is the reference and service center for all aspects of primate research. The DPZ is one of 89 research and infrastructure facilities of the Leibniz Association.

Weitere Informationen:

http://medien.dpz.eu/webgate/keyword.html?currentContainerId=2321 - Printable images
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/09/04/1405811111.full.pdf+html - Original publication
http://www.dpz.eu/en/home/single-view/news/maennerfreundschaften-als-schluessel-... - DPZ Webpage

Dr. Susanne Diederich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: DPZ Leibniz-Institut baboons bonds cooperative females humans primate relationships societies

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>