Effects of dominance and female presence on secondary sexual characteristics in male tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella)

Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, Slonecker, E. and Wooddell, L., 2021. Effects of dominance and female presence on secondary sexual characteristics in male tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella). Ecology and Evolution, 11 (11), pp. 6315-6325. ISSN 2045-7758

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Alpha status may lead to physiological changes that enhance secondary sexual characteristics, which may serve as competitive signals to conspecific males, sexual signals to females, or possibly a combination of both. Here we report measurements of secondary sexual characteristics in captive dominant and subordinate male tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) with varying access to females. An adult male (who had previously been subordinate while housed with other males) was paired with an adult female, and then this male-female pair was introduced into a room that housed three other male-male pairs with stable hierarchy arrangements. We analyzed weight, body measurements, facial photographs, and hair cortisol before, during, and after introducing a female into the room. While there were no differences in weight or measurements between alphas and subordinates without physical access to the female prior to or during the female’s presence, we found that direct access to the female resulted in dramatic changes in facial appearance, body size, and testicular volume in the male who was paired with her. Overall, we found little evidence to suggest that alpha males advertise their status within all male groups via sexual secondary characteristics. However, direct physical access to females appears to trigger the development of such characteristics in alpha males. It remains of continued interest to identify the endocrine mechanisms responsible for the development, and possible loss, of secondary sexual characteristics.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Ecology and Evolution
Creators: Paukner, A., Slonecker, E. and Wooddell, L.
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
Date: June 2021
Volume: 11
Number: 11
ISSN: 2045-7758
Rights: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 08 Feb 2021 15:30
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 08:34
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42230

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