Press Release: Female-female competition over paternal care demonstrated for the first time in chacma baboons

Thursday, September 06, 2018 - Toulouse - New research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows for the first time evidence of female competition and reproductive suppression over paternal care in the wild chacma baboons.

Pregnant and lactating females have been shown to harass subordinate oestrous females when they mate with the father of their offspring. This harassment seems to decrease the fertility of oestrous females, leading to lower conception probability with the male and the subsequent dilution of paternal care among offspring. This study emphasizes that competition over patenal care may play an important and overlooked role in shaping female social relationships and reproductive strategies in promiscuous primate societies.


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