Aggressive behavior in the free‐ranging rhesus monkeys of kathmandu, nepal

Jane Teas, Henry A. Feldman, Thomas L. Richie, Henry G. Taylor, Charles H. Southwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a composite sample of the aggressive behavior of free‐ranging rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), recorded at two temples in Kathmandu, Nepal. We analyze the total number and the rate per monkey of threats, chases, attacks, fights, and aggressive acts directed at other species (principally humans), in order to elucidate social dynamics of the troop as a whole. Our 1,506 hours of observation were divided among the four seasons; between a.m. and p.m.; and among a temple yard, two parklands, and a forested garden. We found seasonal patterns to be the most important correlates of aggressive behavior. Habitat was a modulating influence, and time of day was the least important factor. Rates of aggression were generally higher per male monkey than per female. In terms of total aggression recorded, however, females instigated significantly more than males, both in encounters between monkeys and in aggression against other species. This finding is consistent with the females' greater numbers in the troop and with their lifelong membership in the troop. Analysis of behavior by social groups, rather than by individual rates, points up the iomportance of adult females and their social stability in troop behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982


  • aggressive behavior
  • rhesus monkeys
  • sex roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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