Female–male relationships influence the form of female–female relationships in olive baboons, Papio anubis

Joan Silk, Eila R. Roberts, Brendan J. Barrett, Sam K. Patterson, Shirley C. Strum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


According to socioecological theory, ecological pressures acting on females play an important role in shaping social organization, dispersal patterns and the nature of female–female relationships. However, there has been relatively little consideration of how females’ relationships with males may influence the nature of females’ relationships to other females. Here, we show that female olive baboons form well-differentiated relationships with adult males and these ties influence their relationships with other females. As in other species of savanna baboons, female olive baboons show pronounced preferences for close kin, but related females do not often share the same top-ranked male partners. Shared associations with males bring females into more frequent contact with distant kin and nonkin. The combined effects of bringing distantly related and unrelated females together and separating close kin reduced the extent of nepotistic biases among females in the study groups compared to female yellow baboons, Papio cynocephalus, and chacma baboons, Papio ursinus. These data suggest that selective pressures acting on both females and males may influence the nature and function of female–female relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Behaviour
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • dyadic sociality index
  • female–female relationships
  • kinship
  • male–female relationships
  • nepotistic bias
  • olive baboon
  • social bond

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Female–male relationships influence the form of female–female relationships in olive baboons, Papio anubis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this