Sources of variation in interbirth intervals among captive bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata)

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20 Scopus citations


Female fitness is a function of variation in the length of females' reproductive careers, the viability of their offspring, and the frequency with which they give birth. Infant loss shortens interbirth intervals in most primate species, but we know considerably less about other factors that contribute to variation in the length of interbirth intervals within groups. In one large captive group of bonnet macaques, maternal parity, age, experience, family size, and recent reproductive history are all associated with variation in the length of intervals that follow the birth of surviving infants. Primiparous females have the longest interbirth intervals, while multiparous females who have produced surviving infants in the past and have raised their last infant successfully have the shortest interbirth intervals. Infant sex and maternal rank have no direct effect upon the length of interbirth intervals. One of the underlying causes of variation in the length of interbirth intervals after surviving births seems to be variation in the timing of conceptions among females. Females who conceive early in the mating season tend to have shorter interbirth intervals than other females. However, females who are multiparous, experienced, and have recently raised infants have late conceptions and short interbirth intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-230
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Infant loss
  • Maternal fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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