Male Colobus vellerosus compete intensely for access to females, which sometimes leads to mortal wounding. Yet, males often form cooperative relationships to overtake prime-aged males and immigrate into bisexual groups. We investigated the factors that predicted the presence of coalitions and affiliative relationships among males in this species. Interactions among males in 292 dyads from six groups were examined from 2004 to 2010 at Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana. Affiliation rates among males were higher and aggression rates lower when one or both males in the dyad were subadult, compared to adult male dyads. Affiliation rates tended to be higher among males that were kin but no other aspect of male relationships predicted affiliation. Coalitions among males were rarely observed and primarily occurred in the context of joint defense against extra-group males (93.5% of events). Adult males were more likely to provide coalitionary support than subadults and coalitions occurred significantly more often when both males were high ranking, since these males probably benefited most in terms of reproductive success from excluding extra-group males. Rank-changing and leveling coalitions among low-ranking males appear to be quite rare or absent in C. vellerosus. The costs of these types of coalitions may be too high or male group size too small on average for these types of coalitions to have been selected for. The overall low rates of affiliation and coalitions among male C. vellerosus are likely influenced by male-biased dispersal and the high level of male–male competition.
Allonursing is a highly cooperative behaviour that may have important fitness consequences for the infant while the benefits to the allomother are less clear. To investigate the function of this behaviour, we compared patterns of allonursing and nursing exhibited by white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). We used a linear mixed model approach to analyse data collected on 21 infants from six social groups in Sector Santa Rosa, Costa Rica. Infants nursed at higher rates and for longer durations from their mothers than from allonurses. They also allonursed at higher rates from lactating and non-lactating parous females than from nulliparous females and at higher rates from maternally related female allonurses than other females. We found no observed effect of adult female rank or infant sex. We conclude that infant white-faced capuchins engage in allonursing as a means to acquire additional milk, and that participating allonurses may benefit from increased inclusive fitness.