An all-male band of golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) was observed for 3 months in the Qinling Mountains of China, in order to collect data on the frequencies and contextual significance of male-male mounting behaviour. Mounts occurred in a variety of affiliative, dominance-related and sexual contexts, which differed depending upon the ages of the males involved. Mounting behaviour in this group was mainly initiated by adults. Juveniles mounted each other in affiliative contexts (during play and prior to grooming). Adult males mounted subadult and juvenile partners in a greater variety of sociosexual contexts (dominance/rank-related interactions; reconciliation following agonistic encounters, and sometimes as a prelude to receiving grooming). However, subadults and juveniles were never observed to mount adults. In one dyad, involving an adult male and a subadult partner, mounting was more frequent and prolonged, and included bouts of deep pelvic thrusting. Two mounts resulted in anal intromissions and, in 1 case, the subadult partner exhibited seminal emission. Given that the study took place during the annual mating peak period of R. roxellana, it is possible that this unusual male-male sexual activity was related to the absence of mating opportunities for those adults that were excluded from 1-male units.

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