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Genetic relatedness and socioecology of wild Hanuman langur monkeys

Little, Katherine Alexandra; (2003) Genetic relatedness and socioecology of wild Hanuman langur monkeys. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This genetic study is based on a geographically isolated population of Hanuman langurs that live around the city of Jodhpur, north-west Rajasthan. Here, the majority of langurs live in harem troops (with a single resident male for 95% of the troop's history) and bachelor bands. Behavioural studies of these langurs suggest that the troops are matrilineal, with males being the dispersing sex. It has therefore been hypothesised that females of a troop are closely related, both through their mothers and through cohorts sharing the same father. This would explain the high levels of cooperation seen between females, such as allogrooming and home range defence. Conversely, members of all male bands, particularly the young adults who control the bands' movements, are unlikely to be related, because of the constantly changing membership and the high mortality rate suffered by the nomadic males. This study has tested these hypotheses using non-invasive techniques to obtain DNA samples from troops and bands in the population. 89 individuals of five troops and one band have been genotyped at eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Analysis of the microsatellite data using Queller and Goodnight's RELATEDNESS and KINSHIP programs has shown that on average, troops are related by 0.17 ± 0.04, troop females by 0.14 ± 0.07, and non-adult troop members by 0.27 ± 0.07. Conversely, the relatedness of the band was only 0.05 ± 0.08. In three troops the resident male could not be excluded as the father of any non-adult, suggesting that these residents had had long term mating monopoly in these troops, whereas in the remaining two troops where takeover had recently occurred, the new residents could be excluded as fathers in all but 2/12 cases. Additionally, the population proved to be highly structured, and troops appeared outbred, an indication of female philopatry combined with polygyny. These results provide genetic evidence in support of the social organisation suggested from long-term behavioural data.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Genetic relatedness and socioecology of wild Hanuman langur monkeys
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101136
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