• Female copulation calls vary with male ejaculation in captive olive baboons

      Vaglio, Stefano; Ducroix, Louise; Rodriguez Villanueva, Maria; Consiglio, Rosanna; Kim, Ayong Julia; Neilands, Patrick; Stucky, Kerstin; Lameira, Adriano R (Brill, 2020-08-11)
      Copulation calls are mating-associated vocalizations that are common in primates, with females vocalizing after copulation in several Old World monkeys and apes. Baboon females typically produce copulation calls that correlate with fertile phase. Calls are, thus, regarded as an upshot of cycle physiology and sexually selected calls. Here, we describe three captive troops of olive baboons wherein, against expectation, females suppressed vocalizing during copulations. Vaginal cytology, together with sexual swelling observations, confirmed that females experienced full receptive cycles. Ovulation did not affect vocal probability during sex, while copulation calls were predicted by male ejaculation just as in other Old World primate species. Results cast doubt on the existence of physiological triggers for baboon copulation calls. Social factors may instead play a larger role. Alterations in social structure (as typically observed in the wild) may be implemented strategically as captive enrichment in order to reveal how females in highly social primates change sexual strategies and, therefore, the use of their copulation calls.