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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Evidence from rhesus macaques suggests that male coloration plays a role in female primate mate choice
Author(s): Waitt, Corri
Little, Anthony
Wolfensohn, Sarah
Honess, Paul
Brown, Anthony P
Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M
Perrett, David I
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Keywords: secondary sexual coloration
mate choice
Macaca mulatta
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2003
Date Deposited: 9-Aug-2012
Citation: Waitt C, Little A, Wolfensohn S, Honess P, Brown AP, Buchanan-Smith HM & Perrett DI (2003) Evidence from rhesus macaques suggests that male coloration plays a role in female primate mate choice. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270 (Suppl. 2), pp. S144-S146.
Abstract: Male animals of many species use conspicuous coloration to attract mates. Among mammals, primates possess the most brilliant secondary sexual coloration. However, whether colour plays a part in primate female mate choice remains unknown. Adult male rhesus macaques undergo a hormonally regulated increased reddening of facial and anogenital skin during their mating season. We experimentally investigated whether red male facial coloration is preferred by simultaneously presenting female rhesus macaques (n = 6) with computer-manipulated pale and red versions of 24 different male faces. The duration and direction of gaze were measured to discern visual preferences. Females exhibited preferences for the red versions of male faces. It is proposed that male coloration might provide a cue to male quality.
DOI Link: 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0065
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