Insights into the evolution of social systems and species from baboon studies.

 
TitleInsights into the evolution of social systems and species from baboon studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsFischer, J, Higham, JP, Alberts, SC, Barrett, L, Beehner, JC, Bergman, TJ, Carter, AJ, Collins, A, Elton, S, Fagot, J, da Silva, MJoana Ferr, Hammerschmidt, K, Henzi, P, Jolly, CJ, Knauf, S, Kopp, GH, Rogers, J, Roos, C, Ross, C, Seyfarth, RM, Silk, J, Snyder-Mackler, N, Staedele, V, Swedell, L, Wilson, ML, Zinner, D
JournalElife
Volume8
Date Published2019 11 12
ISSN2050-084X
Abstract

Baboons, members of the genus comprise six closely related species distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southwest Arabia. The species exhibit more ecological flexibility and a wider range of social systems than many other primates. This article summarizes our current knowledge of the natural history of baboons and highlights directions for future research. We suggest that baboons can serve as a valuable model for complex evolutionary processes, such as speciation and hybridization. The evolution of baboons has been heavily shaped by climatic changes and population expansion and fragmentation in the African savanna environment, similar to the processes that acted during human evolution. With accumulating long-term data, and new data from previously understudied species, baboons are ideally suited for investigating the links between sociality, health, longevity and reproductive success. To achieve these aims, we propose a closer integration of studies at the proximate level, including functional genomics, with behavioral and ecological studies.

DOI10.7554/eLife.50989
Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID31711570
PubMed Central IDPMC6850771
Grant ListFI 707/21-1 / / Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / International