When such a phase occurs, the males apparently decide by ear, the researchers conclude from their study. They had set up two loudspeakers to the left and right of a baboon, each twenty yards away, and let out the grunts of one dominant male and the other the typical copulation screams of a female. Six out of nine test monkeys instantly dropped the food they were working on and headed straight for the supposed female. The baboons had probably concluded from the distance between the noise sources that the couple had separated in the short term and the female just proved his favor to another male, the researchers explain. On the other hand, if the sounds suggested that the female was having sex with her own partner, the other males did not respond to the screams.
The results support the suggestion that baboons and other monkeys assess the social relationships within their group through a range of parameters, at least in male-female partnerships spatial proximity between two animals being one of the most crucial. In addition, they are clearly in a position to realize that many of these relationships exist only for a limited time, according to the researchers.Catherine Crockford (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) et al .: Animal Behavior, Vol. 73, p. 885 ddp / science.de? Ilka Lehnen-Beyel advertisement