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Primates. 2008 Apr;49(2):135-8. Epub 2007 Dec 22.

The relationship between female rank and reproductive parameters of the ringtailed lemur: a preliminary analysis.

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School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, 2-1 Gakuen, Sanda, 669-1337, Japan.


We used data from a 13-year field study of wild ringtailed lemurs to analyze the relationship between female rank and reproductive parameters. In medium and small groups there were no significant differences in birth rate, infant mortality rate, and the number of surviving infants between the female rank categories. On the other hand, in large sized groups low-ranked females had a smaller number of surviving infants than middle-ranked females. This suggests that in large sized groups, within-group competition lowered the values of reproductive parameters of low-ranked females. On the other hand, high and low-ranked females of small sized groups tended to have a smaller number of surviving infants than high-ranked females of medium sized groups and middle-ranked females of large sized groups. Between-group competition should lower the values of their reproductive parameters. In sum, these results fit the expectation from Wrangham's (1980) inter group feeding competition model.

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