Skip to main content
Dryad logo

No evidence that grooming is exchanged for coalitionary support in the short- or long-term via direct or generalized reciprocity in unrelated rhesus macaques

Citation

O'Hearn, William; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina; Platt, Michael; Brent, Lauren (2022), No evidence that grooming is exchanged for coalitionary support in the short- or long-term via direct or generalized reciprocity in unrelated rhesus macaques, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pvmcvdnks

Abstract

Reciprocity is a prominent explanation for cooperation between non-kin. Studies seeking to demonstrate reciprocity often focus on direct reciprocity in the timescale of minutes to hours, whereas alternative mechanisms like generalised reciprocity and the possibility of reciprocation over longer timescales of months and years are less often explored. Using a playback experiment, we tested for evidence of direct and generalised reciprocity, across short and longer timescales. We examined the exchange of grooming for coalitionary support between female rhesus macaques in a population with a complete genetic pedigree. Females that received grooming were not more responsive to calls for coalitionary support from female groupmates compared to control females that received agonism or no interaction – even when the call belonged to a females’ most recent grooming partner. Similarly, females were not more responsive to calls for support from their most frequent grooming partner of the last two years, nor if they received large amounts of grooming from all other females in their group. We interpret these results as an absence of evidence for direct or generalised reciprocity on any timescale in the exchange of grooming for coalitionary support in rhesus macaques. If grooming is exchanged for support in this population, it is with an intensity below our ability to detect or over a longer timescale than we examined. We propose by-product explanations may be responsible and highlight the importance of investigating multiple mechanisms when testing apparently cooperative behaviours.

Methods

The dataset was collected using playback experiments with rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago in 2017. The data was processed with generalized linear mixed models to produce a MS submitted for publication in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Usage Notes

The readme file contains an explanation of each of the variables in the dataset and its measurement units.

Funding

National Institutes of Health, Award: R01MH118203

Leverhulme Trust, Award: Early Career Fellowship to L.J.N.B

National Institutes of Health, Award: 2P40OD012217

National Institutes of Health, Award: R01MH096875