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Coppery titi monkey (Plecturocebus cupreus) pairs display coordinated behaviors in response to a simulated intruder

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Mate guarding and coordinated behaviors between partners are important for the maintenance of monogamous pair bonds. To study the effects of a perceived unfamiliar social intruder on females' behavior, we used coppery titi monkeys (Plecturocebus cupreus). We examined the effects of male aggressive temperament on females' behavior and the effects of each behavior performed by the male on the same female behavior. Using a mirror, we simulated a social intruder in the home territory and scored behaviors using an established ethogram. Based on our analysis of self-directed behaviors, females do not recognize themselves in the mirror. We then used general linear mixed models to predict percent change in females' behaviors as a function of (a) males' temperament, (b) males' behavior, and (c) an interaction between males' temperament and behavior. Male temperament did not significantly predict female behavior for any of our best fitting models. For percent change in female lip-smacking, male lip-smacking significantly predicted female lip-smacking (β = 0.74, SE = 0.22, t = 3.39; p = .004). There was a positive correlation between male and female agonistic behaviors such as back-arching/tail-lashing (β = 0.51, SE = 0.23, t = 2.22; p = .04) and for anxiety-related behaviors such as leaving the partner (β = 0.50, SE = 0.19, t = 2.68; p = .015), locomotion duration (β = 0.19, SE = 0.06, t = 2.98; p = .02), and locomotion frequency (β = 0.71, SE = 0.14, t = 5.17; p < .001). These findings on coordination of pair-mate behaviors may explain how titi monkeys display pair bond strength and ensure their reproductive success.

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