The Gibbons pp 279-311 | Cite as

Monogamy in Mammals: Expanding the Perspective on Hylobatid Mating Systems

  • Luca Morino
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


Hylobatids are among the few primate species that live primarily in monogamous (two-adult) groups (Rutberg 1983; Fuentes 1999). Nonetheless, some of their physiological and behavioral characteristics, including their slow life histories (Leighton 1987), a generalized lack of paternal care (Fuentes 1999), and their apparent ability to efficiently defend large territories (Mitani and Rodman 1979), differ from those of most other purportedly monogamous primates (and mammals). Given the relative paucity of monogamous primate species, it may be worthwhile to consider other monogamous mammal species as a valuable additional source of comparative data, as well as of new ideas, innovative methodologies, and theoretical developments.

At the time of the last comprehensive reviews of monogamy in mammals (Kleiman 1977; Wittenberger and Tilson 1980), genetic data were not yet available and long-term field data had not been collected for most species. Subsequent research has provided...


Prairie Vole Multimale Group Microtus Ochrogaster Japanese Serow Social Monogamy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I wish to thank Ryne Palombit for support and precious, brain-expanding discussions, Susan Lappan for saintly patience and constant enthusiasm through several drafts, and Danielle Whittaker for additional valuable comments. Most of the researchers whose work is cited in this chapter kindly provided comments, clarifications, unpublished data, further ideas; I gratefully acknowledge their contribution.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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