This month in primatology (January 2016)

Gratuitous photo of rhesus macaque juveniles doing a bit of rough-and-tumble play

We are only a month into 2016, and primatologists have been very busy! I’ve compiled a list of the most important/interesting/exciting/cool articles that have been released since the start of the year (in press/early view/advance access etc.). Papers that were released electronically in 2015 and have now been assigned to an actual issue in a journal are not counted. Obviously, this is a subjective list, reflecting my main interests in primatology (behavioural ecology & sociality) so no doubt many excellent studies that deal with topics I do not follow too closely are left out. I’ve organised the studies under several non-mutually exclusive categories – depending on the primary theme of each article.

Now that’s cleared up, here’s my primate-themed January reading list (in almost no particular order):

Sexual selection & reproductive ecology

Sexual Selection and the differences between the sexes in Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx)

Male endocrine response to seasonally varying environmental and social factors in a neotropical primate, Cebus capucinus

Vocal complexity influences female responses to gelada male calls

Female chimpanzees adjust copulation calls according to reproductive status and level of female competition

Exaggerated sexual swellings in female nonhuman primates are reliable signals of female fertility and body condition

Consequences of a male takeover on mating skew in wild Sanje mangabeys

Maternal effects on offspring stress physiology in wild chimpanzees

Sex or power? The function of male displays in rhesus macaques

Social life

Obstacles and catalysts to peaceful coexistence in chimpanzees and bonobos

Sex and friendship in a multilevel society: behavioural patterns and associations between female and male Guinea baboons

Working the crowd: sociable vervets benefit by reducing exposure to risk

Strong, equitable and long-term social bonds in the dispersing sex in Assamese macaques

Experience-independent sex differences in newborn macaques: Females are more social than males

Adaptations for social cognition in the primate brain

Social behavior shapes the chimpanzee pan-microbiome


Effects of group size and contest location on the outcome and intensity of intergroup contests in wild blue monkeys

Social power, conflict policing, and the role of subordination signals in rhesus macaque society

Ecology & conservation

Feeding habitat quality and behavioral trade-offs in chimpanzees: a case for species distribution models

Spatio-temporal complexity of chimpanzee food: How cognitive adaptations can counteract the ephemeral nature of ripe fruit

Sympatric Apes in Sacred Forests: Shared Space and Habitat Use by Humans and Endangered Javan Gibbons (Hylobates moloch)



Journals checked for papers:

  • The discipline journals: American Journal of Primatology, International Journal of Primatology, Primates, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • Behavioural journals: Behavioural Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Ethology, Behaviour, Hormones and Behavior, Physiology and Behavior
  • Broader journals: Current Biology, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Science, Science Advances, Nature, Scientific Reports, Biology Letters, Proceedings B, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Open Science, eLife, PeerJ, PLOSOne, Functional Ecology, Journal of Animal Ecology, Ecology and Evolution, Evolution

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