Cohort dominance rank and “robbing and bartering” among subadult male long-tailed macaques at Uluwatu, Bali

Jeffrey V. Peterson, Agustín Fuentes, I. Nengah Wandia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Robbing and bartering is a habitual behavior among free-ranging long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at a single site in Bali, Indonesia. The behavior consists of three main elements: (1) a macaque takes an item from a human; (2) the macaque maintains possession of the item; then (3) the macaque releases or hands off the item after accepting a food offer from a human. In this paper, we analyze data on individual variation in robbing and bartering among subadult males in relation to dominance rank. Using focal animal sampling we collected 197 observation hours of data on 13 subadult males from two groups (6 from Celagi; 7 from Riting) at the Uluwatu temple site from May 2017 to March 2018, recording 44 exchanges of items for food from 92 total robberies following 176 total attempts. We also measured dominance rank using interaction data from our focal animals. Dominance rank was strongly positively correlated with robbery efficiency in Riting, but not Celagi, meaning that more dominant Riting subadult males exhibited fewer overall robbery attempts per successful robbery. We suggest the observed variation in robbing and bartering practices indicates there are crucial, yet still unexplored, social factors at play for individual robbing and bartering decisions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number7971
    JournalScientific reports
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Dec 2022

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General


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