Microsatellite Analysis of Kinkajou Social Organization

TitleMicrosatellite Analysis of Kinkajou Social Organization
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKays, RW, Gittleman, JG, Wayne, RK
JournalMolecular Ecology
KeywordsCarnivora, Dispersal, paternity, patrilineal, Potos, relatedness

Kinkajou social groups generally consist of one adult female, two males, one subadult and one juvenile. Based on analysis of variation in 11 microsatellite loci, we assess the degree of kinship within and between four social groups totaling 25 kinkajous. We use exclusion and likelihood analyses to assign parents for seven of the eight offspring sampled, five with ≥ 95% certainty, and two with ≥ 80% certainty. Five of six identified sires of group offspring came from the same social group as the mother and pup. Adult males and females within a group were unrelated and subadults and juveniles were offspring of the group adults, suggesting a family structure. All five identified paternities within a social group were by the dominant male of the group. However, this copulation asymmetry does not necessarily reflect cooperation due to kinship ties between the two adult males within a group as one of two adult male pairs sampled was unrelated. Neighbouring male kinkajous were more closely related to each other than neighbouring female kinkajous, suggesting that females disperse more often or farther than males.