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The Natural History of Model Organisms: Insights into the evolution of social systems and species from baboon studies

Fischer, J; Higham, JP; Alberts, SC; Barrett, L; Beehner, JC; Bergman, TJ; Carter, AJ; ... Zinner, D; + view all (2019) The Natural History of Model Organisms: Insights into the evolution of social systems and species from baboon studies. eLife , 8 , Article e50989. 10.7554/eLife.50989. Green open access

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Abstract

Baboons, members of the genus Papio, comprise six closely related species distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southwest Arabia. The species exhibit more ecological flexibility and a wider range of social systems than many other primates. This article summarizes our current knowledge of the natural history of baboons and highlights directions for future research. We suggest that baboons can serve as a valuable model for complex evolutionary processes, such as speciation and hybridization. The evolution of baboons has been heavily shaped by climatic changes and population expansion and fragmentation in the African savanna environment, similar to the processes that acted during human evolution. With accumulating long-term data, and new data from previously understudied species, baboons are ideally suited for investigating the links between sociality, health, longevity and reproductive success. To achieve these aims, we propose a closer integration of studies at the proximate level, including functional genomics, with behavioral and ecological studies.

Type: Article
Title: The Natural History of Model Organisms: Insights into the evolution of social systems and species from baboon studies
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.50989
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.50989
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Fischer et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086254
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