Females pay attention to female secondary sexual color: An experimental study in Macaca mulatta

Melissa S. Gerald, Corri Waitt, Anthony C. Little, Edmundo Kraiselburd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Researchers have long considered the color of female sexual skin to play a role in attracting or inciting competition among males, or both; however, females may also use color in intrasexual communication. To assess this possibility, we examined whether variation in same-sex sexual skin color is salient to female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). We exposed adult females to computerized images of conspecific female faces and hindquarters manipulated for color (red vs. non-red), within the natural range of color variation. Females visually attended more to both reddened faces and hindquarters over the non-red counterparts. We conclude that female color might be biologically meaningful to other females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Macaca mulatta
  • Primate
  • Secondary sexual color
  • Sex skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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