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OrangutansGeographic Variation in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation$
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Serge A. Wich, S Suci Utami Atmoko, Tatang Mitra Setia, and Carel P. van Schaik

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199213276

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213276.001.0001

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Orangutan mating behavior and strategies

Orangutan mating behavior and strategies

Chapter:
(p.235) CHAPTER 16 Orangutan mating behavior and strategies
Source:
Orangutans
Author(s):

S. Suci Utami Atmoko

Tatang Mitra Setia

Benoît Goossens

Sheena S. James

Cheryl D. Knott

Helen C. Morrogh-Bernard

Carel P. van Schaik

Maria A. van Noordwijk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213276.003.0016

Orangutans are a species with a very pronounced sexual dimorphism, in that fully grown males are about twice the size of females, but adult, sexually mature males come in two distinct morphs. Unflanged males lack the secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., cheek flanges, throat sack, long call) of the flanged males, but are sexually active, fertile and known to sire offspring. In some males, full development may be delayed until they are over 30. This ‘bimaturism’ is hypothesized to have arisen as a result of sexual selection in which female choice, male–male competition and male coercion have all played important roles. The data reviewed here show that male–male competition is highly affected by the reproductive condition of the females and female preference for associating with particular males. Potentially reproductive female orangutans are widely dispersed in space and time. Consequently, dominant flanged adult males cannot easily exert permanent control over access to reproductive females.

Keywords:   bimaturism, forced copulation, mating resistance, female choice, sexual coercion

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