Allogrooming and affiliation : a study of grooming behaviour in two captive groups of lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Lee, Shirley,
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Allogrooming behaviour was observed, for a period of eight months, in two groups of captive lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. Results indicate that age, sex and genealogy are significant factors in grooming relationships. Grooming appears to be group-specific due to the presence of different types of behaviour in the two groups; mouth grooming was observed in Group One, while hair pulling and eating was a variant in Group Two. Communication is an important aspect in the relationship, specifically in the form of lipsmacks, stretches and "hugging" behaviour. The groomer exerts more influence than the groomee in the interaction, although it is the specific relationship between the two individuals which determines the grooming sequence. This suggests that analyses which focus on the total frequency and duration per individual must take this factor into account.