The evolution of social philopatry in female primates

Markus Port*, Hanno Hildenbrandt, Ido Pen, Oliver Schuelke, Julia Ostner, Franz J. Weissing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The transition from solitary life to sociality is considered one of the major transitions in evolution. In primates, this transition is currently not well understood. Traditional verbal models appear insufficient to unravel the complex interplay of environmental and demographic factors involved in the evolution of primate sociality, and recent phylogenetic reconstructions have produced conflicting results. We therefore analyze a theoretical model for the evolution of female social philopatry that sheds new light on the question why most primates live in groups. In individual-based simulations, we study the evolution of dispersal strategies of both resident females and their offspring. The model reveals that social philopatry can evolve through kin selection, even if retention of offspring is costly in terms of within-group resource competition and provides no direct benefits. Our model supports the role of predator avoidance as a selective pressure for group-living in primates, but it also suggests that a second benefit of group-living, communal resource defense, might be required to trigger the evolution of sizable groups. Lastly, our model reveals that seemingly small differences in demographic parameters can have profound effects on primate social evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-410
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume173
Issue number3
Early online date11-Aug-2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2020

Keywords

  • behavioral reaction norms
  • individual-based simulations
  • kin selection
  • primate sociality
  • social evolution
  • socioecological model
  • GROUP-SIZE
  • REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS
  • KIN SELECTION
  • LOST DREAM
  • COMPETITION
  • DISPERSAL
  • MODEL
  • MONOGAMY
  • DEFENSE
  • SOCIOECOLOGY

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