Stress-relevant social behaviors of middle-class male cynomolgus monkeys ( Macaca fascicularis )|
Cui, Ding & Zhou, Yuan
Stress from dominance ranks in human societies, or that of other social animals, especially nonhuman primates, can have negative influences on health. Individuals holding different social status may be burdened with various stress levels. The middle class experiences a special stress situation within the dominance hierarchy due to its position between the higher and lower classes. Behaviorally, questions about where middle-class stress comes from and how individuals adapt to middle-class stress remain poorly understood in nonhuman primates. In the present study, social interactions, including aggression, avoidance, grooming and mounting behaviors, between beta males, as well as among group members holding higher or lower social status, were analyzed in captive male-only cynomolgus monkey groups. We found that aggressive tension from the higher hierarchy members was the main origin of stress for middle-class individuals. However, behaviors such as attacking lower hierarchy members immediately after being the recipient of aggression, as well as increased avoidance, grooming and mounting toward both higher and lower hierarchy members helped alleviate middle-class stress and were particular adaptations to middle-class social status.
Stress; Beta individual; Cynomolgus monkey; Social behaviors; Male-only