Coping with the cold: predictors of survival in wild Barbary macaques, Macaca sylvanus

McFarland, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8245-9269 and Majolo, B., 2013. Coping with the cold: predictors of survival in wild Barbary macaques, Macaca sylvanus. Biology Letters, 9 (4): 20130428. ISSN 1744-9561

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We report the death of 30 wild Barbary macaques, living in two groups, during an exceptionally cold and snowy winter in the Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco. We examined whether an individual's time spent feeding, the quality and number of its social relationships, sex and rank predicted whether it survived the winter or not. The time an individual spent feeding and the number of social relationships that an individual had in the group were positive and significant predictors of survival. This is the first study to show that the degree of sociality affects an individual's chance of survival following extreme environmental conditions. Our findings support the view that sociality is directly related to an individual's fitness, and that factors promoting the establishment and maintenance of social relationships are favoured by natural selection.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Biology Letters
Creators: McFarland, R. and Majolo, B.
Publisher: The Royal Society
Date: 23 August 2013
Volume: 9
Number: 4
ISSN: 1744-9561
23804292PubMed ID
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 16 Nov 2021 10:27
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:31

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