Testing the function of reconciliation and third-party affiliation for aggressors in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas hamadryas)

Teresa Romero*, Fernando Colmenares, Filippo Aureli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In social groups, agonistic conflicts can have different negative consequences. Several post-conflict interactions have been suggested as post-conflict management behaviors to mitigate those negative effects. In this study, we investigated the function of two post-conflict behaviors - reconciliation and aggressor-initiated third-party affiliation - on the aggressor's levels of post-conflict anxiety and aggression in a large colony of hamadryas baboons. We also examined variation in the aggressor's levels of post-conflict anxiety as a function of relationship quality between the opponents as predicted by the Integrated Hypothesis. We found that after conflicts hamadryas baboon aggressors showed increased rates of anxiety-related behaviors and that they were also more likely to be involved in renewed aggressive interactions. Although both reconciliation and aggressor-initiated third-party affiliation reduced the probability of receiving post-conflict aggression, only reconciliation reduced the rates of anxiety-related behaviors, suggesting that the aggressors' post-conflict anxiety might be owing mainly to the damage that the conflict causes to their relationship with the victim. Furthermore, aggressor's rates of post-conflict anxiety were higher after conflicts with individuals with whom they had a high-quality relationship, supporting the idea that levels of post-conflict anxiety mediate the occurrence of reconciliation depending on the quality of the relationship with former opponent as predicted by the Integrated Hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Papio hamadryas hamadryas
  • post-conflict anxiety
  • reconciliation
  • relationship quality
  • third-party affiliation

Cite this