The Adaptive Value of Social Bonds for Female Baboons

Joan Silk (Arizona State University)

June 18, 2024, 11:30–12:30


Room Auditorium 4 (First floor - TSE Building)

IAST General Seminar


Group life creates both challenges and opportunities for individuals. Group members are sources of competition over scarce resources, such as food and mates, and can be vectors of disease. At the same time, animals can benefit from services that other group members provide, including grooming, defense against predators, and support in conflicts. Long-term studies of baboons that live in large mixed-sex groups have shown that competition and cooperation are closely intertwined in the lives of females. Studies conducted in the last 20 years provide insights about form of females’ social bonds, the sources of variation in females’ social strategies, and the impact of variation in social strategies on females’ lifetime fitness.