Friday, August 05, 2011

Baboon Beauties Are More Likely To Get Bullied

Being a good-looking female baboon might bag you the most handsome male, but the latest study suggests that beauty has its drawbacks.

Scientists have found that the most desirable females – the ones that are on heat – are much more likely to be bullied than females that aren't ready to mate. What's more, it's the other females in the troop that do the persecuting.

The study also shows that if you're a good catch, and you're guarded by an alpha male, you're twice as likely to be tormented by your female peers as others that aren't guarded.

"Sexually-receptive female baboons get a lot more stick from their female colleagues than any other females do," says Dr. Elise Huchard from the German Primate Center, lead author of the study. "Our study highlights the dramatic relationship between the reproductive state of the female and the amount of aggression she faces."

The research, recently published in Behavioral Ecology reveals that sex is much more important than previously thought in shaping relationships between females in large primate groups.

"We were surprised at this finding, because it goes against the traditional view," says Huchard.

Full story here.

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