Data from: Triadic male-infant-male interaction serves in bond maintenance in male Assamese macaques
Schülke, Oliver; Kalbitz, Josefine; Ostner, Julia (2018), Data from: Triadic male-infant-male interaction serves in bond maintenance in male Assamese macaques, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j4387
While the ultimate consequences of social bonds start to be better understood, the proximate behavioural mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of these close affiliative relationships have received less attention. We investigated the possible function of male-infant-male interactions (MIMIs) in male-male social bonding processes by analysing about 9000h of focal animal observations collected on two groups of wild Assamese macaques. In support of an agonistic buffering function of MIMIs, after engaging in a MIMI upon approach, subordinates stayed longer in close proximity of a dominant male. Overall, the frequency of MIMIs increased the stronger the affiliative relationship between two males, suggesting that MIMIs like grooming function in relationship maintenance. We did not find support for a role of MIMIs in bond formation as the frequency of MIMIs did not affect the time a male dyad spent in proximity in the consecutive year. Our results contribute to the general debate on behaviours influencing social dynamics in group living mammals.