Species Recognition by Macaques Measured by Sensory Reinforcement

  • Kazuo Fujita


Recognizing social objects is essential to many animals. Identifying their own species is clearly most fundamental of all, not only for animals living social lives, but also for those living alone as long as they have to mate with conspecifics to reproduce their genes. Hybridization is often prevented by differences in sexual organs, in time and place of mating, in number of chromosomes, etc. Hybridization usually results in the mortality or sterility of the hybrids even it succeeds in making a zygote. However, mating usually consumes much time and energy. Particularly for animals who mate only once in their lifetime, such as insects, copulation with a different species leading to failure of reproduction is a complete waste of their lives. As a result, many such animals have evolved a variety of behavioral mechanisms to recognize species. One of the most impressive examples is the species-specific flashing-light communication in many fireflies (Lloyd 1966). Although the cost of mating a different species might be a little less serious in animals who reproduce more than once in their lifetime, it is still maladaptive in terms of time and energy. The fascinating variety of animals in the world is a result of such reproductive isolation.


Rhesus Monkey Preference Index Japanese Monkey Visual Preference Macaque Species 
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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuo Fujita
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Graduate School of LettersKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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