Reconciliation patterns among stumptailed macaques: A multivariate approach

J Call*, F Aureli, FBM de Waal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


This study focused on two aspects of the dynamics of reconciliation in stumptailed macaques, Macaca arctoides. First, we investigated the combined effects of multiple variables (i.e. sex, age, rank, conflict intensity, outcome, or number of participants, interopponent distance, kinship and friendship) on the occurrence of reconciliation. Second, we investigated whether opponents used different behaviour patterns in their postconflict reunions depending on the characteristics of their conflicts or their relationship with their opponents. We studied a multimale, multifemale group of 38 stumptailed macaques housed in a large outdoor compound. Three types of data were collected: (1) instantaneous scan sampling of contact sitting to infer 'friendship'; (2) ad libitum data on bared-teeth and teeth-chattering displays to infer dominance rank; (3) 10-min focal observations during postconflict (PC) and matched control (MC) periods in which we recorded interopponent distance at the beginning of the observation and all aggressive and affiliative behaviours between former opponents. Our study confirmed the high conciliatory tendency of stumptailed macaques previously reported for other groups. A stepwise logistic regression revealed that initial interopponent distance in PC, friendship and kinship were the only factors that independently contributed to explain the occurrence of reconciliation. Two main clusters of postconflict behavioural patterns emerged: allogrooming+contact sitting and;sociosexual behaviours (e.g. hold-bottom). It is hypothesized that postconflict allogrooming and contact sitting may be used for the maintenance of valuable relationships, whereas sociosexual behaviours may be used more indiscriminately by any pair of opponents as a buffering mechanism to prevent immediate recurrence of aggression. (C) 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999




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