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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Signals of female reproductive quality and fertility in colony-living baboons (Papio h. anubis) in relation to ensuring paternal investment
Author(s): Daspre, Agnes
Heistermann, Michael
Hodges, J Keith
Lee, Phyllis C
Rosetta, Lyliane
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Keywords: ovulation timing
fertility signaling
reproductive hormone profiles
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Citation: Daspre A, Heistermann M, Hodges JK, Lee PC & Rosetta L (2009) Signals of female reproductive quality and fertility in colony-living baboons (Papio h. anubis) in relation to ensuring paternal investment, American Journal of Primatology, 71 (7), pp. 529-538.
Abstract: The fitness of a female’s offspring depends cruicially on the traits, genetic and paternal, that the father contributes. As such, females may either have an interest in behaviorally choosing the highest-quality male, or in reliably signaling their fertility status to males. Combining hormonal data on a female’s ovulatory fertile window with a behavioral context, we suggest that captive female olive baboons (Papio h. anubis) provide fathers with reliable signals of their fertile period. One signal, the maximum anogenital swelling (AGA), typically coincided with a 4-day fertile window of ovulation, which occurred 2–3 days prior to deturgescence. As expected from previous studies, AGA swelling indicated general attractiveness to males, and males attended to the relative attractiveness of females. Males approached and copulated with females significantly more often during the 4-day window around ovulation, irrespective of the absolute swelling stage. The two adult males present in the group were both able to copulate with consistent partners as at least two cycling females were available in most months; the dominant male was more selective about the timing of his copulations close to ovulation during the maximal swelling phase. Females with ovulatory but nonconceptive cycles were less attractive to males, especially during their maximal AGA swelling phase.
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