Phenotypic assortment in wild primate networks: implications for the dissemination of information.
Carter, Alecia J.
Marshall, Harry H.
Royal Society Open Science
Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Individuals' access to social information can depend on their social network. Homophily-a preference to associate with similar phenotypes-may cause assortment within social networks that could preclude information transfer from individuals who generate information to those who would benefit from acquiring it. Thus, understanding phenotypic assortment may lead to a greater understanding of the factors that could limit the transfer of information between individuals. We tested whether there was assortment in wild baboon (Papio ursinus) networks, using data collected from two troops over 6 years for six phenotypic traits-boldness, age, dominance rank, sex and the propensity to generate/exploit information-using two methods for defining a connection between individuals-time spent in proximity and grooming. Our analysis indicated that assortment was more common in grooming than proximity networks. In general, there was homophily for boldness, age, rank and the propensity to both generate and exploit information, but heterophily for sex. However, there was considerable variability both between troops and years. The patterns of homophily we observed for these phenotypes may impede information transfer between them. However, the inconsistency in the strength of assortment between troops and years suggests that the limitations to information flow may be quite variable.
Churchill College, University of Cambridge
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Animal Behavior Society (USA)
International Primatological Society
Open Access article published under Creative Commons Attribution Licence.
Final published version
© The Authors
Electronic supplementary material is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.140444 or via http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org.
This paper is a publication of the ZSL Institute of Zoology’s Tsaobis Baboon Project.
Vol. 2, 140444
PubMed Central ID
Place of publication