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Facial width-to-height ratio relates to alpha status and assertive personality in capuchin monkeys

Lefevre, Carmen Emilia; Wilson, Vanessa A. D.; Morton, F. Blake; Brosnan, Sarah F.; Paukner, Annika; Bates, Timothy C.

Authors

Carmen Emilia Lefevre

Vanessa A. D. Wilson

Sarah F. Brosnan

Annika Paukner

Timothy C. Bates



Contributors

Cédric Sueur
Editor

Abstract

Social dominance hierarchies play a pivotal role in shaping the behaviour of many species, and sex differences within these hierarchies often exist. To date, however, few physical markers of dominance have been identified. Such markers would be valuable in terms of understanding the etiology of dominant behaviour and changes in social hierarchies over time. Animals may also use such traits to evaluate the potential dominance of others relative to themselves (i.e. a physical “cue”). Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), for example, has been suggested as a cue to dominance in humans, with links to both dominant behaviour and the perception of dominance in other individuals. Whether this association is present in non-human animals is currently not known. Therefore, here we examine within-species links between fWHR and dominant behaviour in 64 brown capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) aged between 2 and 40 years. fWHR was positively associated with alpha status and with a dimensional rating of assertive personality in both males and females. Moreover, fWHR showed significant sexual dimorphism in adults but not juveniles, suggesting a developmental change may occur during puberty. In a sub-sample, sex differences were mediated by weight, suggesting fWHR dimorphism does not exceed what would be expected by differences in body weight. This is the first report of an association between face shape and behaviour in a non-human species. Results are discussed in terms of the role that face-behaviour associations might play within capuchin societies, and the possible selective forces that might have led to the evolution of fWHR-dominance associations in humans.

Citation

Lefevre, C. E., Wilson, V. A. D., Morton, F. B., Brosnan, S. F., Paukner, A., & Bates, T. C. (2014). Facial width-to-height ratio relates to alpha status and assertive personality in capuchin monkeys. PLoS ONE, 9(4), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093369

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2014
Online Publication Date Apr 4, 2014
Publication Date Apr 4, 2014
Deposit Date May 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2019
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 4
Article Number e93369
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093369
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/1759462
Publisher URL https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0093369

Files

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Publisher Licence URL
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
2014 Lefevre et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.





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