Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/29342
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Modeling the origins of mammalian sociality: moderate evidence for matrilineal signatures in mouse lemur vocalizations
Author(s): Kessler, Sharon E
Radespiel, Ute
Hasiniaina, Alida I F
Leliveld, Lisette M C
Nash, Leanne T
Zimmermann, Elke
Keywords: Acoustic signature
Maternal kin
Solitary forager
Ancestral primate
Microsatellite
Issue Date: 20-Feb-2014
Citation: Kessler SE, Radespiel U, Hasiniaina AIF, Leliveld LMC, Nash LT & Zimmermann E (2014) Modeling the origins of mammalian sociality: moderate evidence for matrilineal signatures in mouse lemur vocalizations. Frontiers in Zoology, 11 (1), Art. No.: 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-9994-11-14
Abstract: Introduction: Maternal kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity and it requires that kin are distinctive from nonkin. The transition from the ancestral state of asociality to the derived state of complex social groups is thought to have occurred via solitary foraging, in which individuals forage alone, but, unlike the asocial ancestors, maintain dispersed social networks via scent-marks and vocalizations. We hypothesize that matrilineal signatures in vocalizations were an important part of these networks. We used the solitary foraging gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) as a model for ancestral solitary foragers and tested for matrilineal signatures in their calls, thus investigating whether such signatures are already present in solitary foragers and could have facilitated the kin selection thought to have driven the evolution of increased social complexity in mammals. Because agonism can be very costly, selection for matrilineal signatures in agonistic calls should help reduce agonism between unfamiliar matrilineal kin. We conducted this study on a well-studied population of wild mouse lemurs at Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. We determined pairwise relatedness using seven microsatellite loci, matrilineal relatedness by sequencing the mitrochondrial D-loop, and sleeping group associations using radio-telemetry. We recorded agonistic calls during controlled social encounters and conducted a multi-parametric acoustic analysis to determine the spectral and temporal structure of the agonistic calls. We measured 10 calls for each of 16 females from six different matrilineal kin groups. Results: Calls were assigned to their matriline at a rate significantly higher than chance (pDFA: correct = 47.1%, chance = 26.7%, p = 0.03). There was a statistical trend for a negative correlation between acoustic distance and relatedness (Mantel Test: g = -1.61, Z = 4.61, r = -0.13, p = 0.058). Conclusions: Mouse lemur agonistic calls are moderately distinctive by matriline. Because sleeping groups consisted of close maternal kin, both genetics and social learning may have generated these acoustic signatures. As mouse lemurs are models for solitary foragers, we recommend further studies testing whether the lemurs use these calls to recognize kin. This would enable further modeling of how kin recognition in ancestral species could have shaped the evolution of complex sociality.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1742-9994-11-14
Rights: © Kessler et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014 This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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