New research shows that female Canadian baboons that have strong social bonds with other, or more dominant, females and males of baboons, have children who become independent faster than others.
They are the smallest species of baboon, socially and less aggressive than other baboons. Hence the name Kinda (kihn-dah), or “the most beautiful,” said India Schneider-Kress, an evolutionary anthropologist at Arizona State University.
Schneider-Chris is an assistant professor in the College of Human Evolution and Social Change and the Center for Evolution and Medicine. Recently published eight years of statistical data show baboon kinda social links They play an important role in the independence of their children.
“The past decade or two has seen a real surge of interest in looking at how to do that Social relations affect human and animal health,” Schneider-Kris said.
She and her fellow researchers examined infant survival, interpartum length (the length of time between a female’s birth) and infant behavioral maturity (independence from baboons) in relation to social bonds.
The data collected for this project were collected from baboons living in the Kasanka Baboon Project in Kasanka National Park, Zambia. The project is the only long-term project devoted to the study of Canadian baboons.
Schneider-Kress says the scientists were surprised to find no effect of social ties or dominance rank on neonatal death or the interval between births.
“What we saw was the effect of social bonding on infants’ behavioral maturation,” Schneider-Kress said. “Females who had stronger social bonds with both females and males had children who were more likely to show more independent behaviors at early ages. This applies to females with weaker social ties or lower social integration with both males and females.”
Schneider-Kreis explained that dominance rank is how scientists measure aggressive social interactions. The more winnings you get, the higher your rank. For baboons, “victories” can include physical displacements or fights.
Another surprising aspect of this study, Schneider-Kris said, is the importance of social bonds with the male Kenda baboon.
“In many Primate typesShe said that social bonds between females and males are short-lived and relate to mating or protection from aggression. “And in Canada, females maintain social bonds with males outside of these contexts, and this study showed that one of the benefits of these extended female-male bonds may lie in children’s progression toward independence.”
To document independence in baby Kindas, Zambian scientists, staff, and research assistants have observed how close Kinda infants are to their mothers at different ages.
Schneider Chris said that Kinda Children Progress through multiple behavioral stages on the way to independence, from ‘belly riding’, in which the baby is carried on the mother’s chest immediately after birth, to gaining mobility while staying close to the mother, to complete independence and spending long periods of time away from the mother.
These kinds of insights are only possible through long-term data collection, she said, during which researchers can look at broad patterns on many different kinda mother-infant pairs.
“One potential benefit of this is that if an infant is able to mature faster, they can start feeding independently more quickly,” Schneider-Kress said. “A female can redirect her energy to maintain her own state, prepare for pregnancy again, and invest in another child.”
Schneider-Crease research focuses on disease ecology and the evolution of infectious diseases in non-human primates. She hopes to do more research and teaching about non-aggressive interactions in primates.
“One of the people who brought research on the benefits of social connections to the fore is Professor Joan Silk from Arizona State University,” Schneider-Kreis said. “Silk’s work was an inspiration for this study, as one of the first people to really investigate the importance of social bonds, not just social aggression, in primate lives.”
The paper, “Stronger maternal and higher-order social bonds are associated with accelerated infant maturation in Canadian monkeys,” published in animal behavior.
India A. Schneider-Crease et al., Stronger maternal and higher-order social bonds are associated with accelerated infant maturation in kena monkeys, animal behavior (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.anbehav.2022.04.011
Arizona State University
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