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Five New World Primates: A Study in Comparative Ecology

Five New World Primates: A Study in Comparative Ecology

Copyright Date: 1983
Pages: 276
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  • Book Info
    Five New World Primates: A Study in Comparative Ecology
    Book Description:

    Launching a new series, Monographs in Behavior and Ecology, this work is an intensive study of five species of New World monkeys--all omnivores with a diet of fruit and small prey. Notwithstanding their common diet, they differ widely in group size, social system, ranging patterns, and degree of territoriality

    Originally published in 1984.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5716-6
    Subjects: Environmental Science, Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. Preface
    (pp. IX-2)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-7)

    Primates are ideally suited for ecological study. Their size and diurnal habits put them comfortably within the range of human sensory abilities. Unlike birds, they can be followed and observed continuously throughout the daily activity period. But most importantly, primates gradually come to accept an observer as part of the landscape, or as just another participant in a mixed species troop. One gets to know each individual as a separate and distinct personality, and is privileged to observe the normal daily round of activity at close range without perturbing the course of events. The feeling of intimacy that one gains...

  5. 2 The Study Site: Its Climate and Vegetation
    (pp. 8-24)

    Here I describe the environmental setting at Cocha Cashu. The chapter opens with a cursory account of the several types of vegetation that enter into the local habitat mosaic. Most of these are serai stages in successional sequences initiated by changes in the course of the river. Climatic data are presented next. Even though complete records exist for only a single year, there is no doubt that the region typically experiences a sharp alternation between wet and dry periods. This has far reaching consequences in driving the annual cycle of flowering and fruiting in the vegetation. In the latter part...

  6. 3 The Primate Community at Cocha Cashu
    (pp. 25-39)

    Throughout most of this work we shall focus with myopic concentration on the lives of five species of primates. This is an inevitable and unavoidable weakness of an intensive study. In full realization of this, it will be helpful to place our subjects in perspective before narrowing the frame of reference.

    An untouched tropical forest standing on rich alluvial soil, such as the one at Cocha Cashu, veritably abounds in animal life. To one accustomed to the temperate milieu, the contrast is astonishing. The most conspicuous difference is in the prominence of mammals. There are scores of species, many of...

  7. 4 Activity Patterns
    (pp. 40-58)

    The nature of an animal’s diet imposes many constraints on its use of time and space. In this chapter I shall consider the use of time by the five species, particularly as it relates to their food-finding needs. Being omnivores, they stand between herbivores and insectivorous predators in trophic position, and in this we should expect to see that their behavior is intermediate, and perhaps in some ways even compromised by the opposing exigencies of the two ways of life.

    Among herbivores, the amount of time an animal devotes to feeding is conspicuously related to body size (Clutton-Brock and Harvey...

  8. 5 The Use of Plant Resources
    (pp. 59-95)

    We saw in the previous chapter that all five species of monkeys devote major amounts of time to feeding on plant resources and to foraging for prey. The differences between plant and animal resources in their degrees of dispersion and in the techniques used to harvest them are so profound that it seems best to discuss these two components of the diet separately. This I do in the present chapter and in the one that follows.

    Ideally, one would like to be able to evaluate, in caloric or nutritional terms, the relative importance of each component of a species’ diet....

  9. 6 Foraging for Prey
    (pp. 96-128)

    The importance of animal prey to the five species was suggested in the analysis of their time budgets. Foraging was for all a major, if not the major, activity, occupying from 15 to 49% of their waking lives. Such substantial investments of time imply that the capture of prey is a matter of necessity and not merely a casual pastime. We may thus suspect that differences in foraging behavior may play a substantive role in defining ecological relationships among the species.

    Before we plunge into the details of how each of the species hunts for prey, it will be instructive...

  10. 7 Ranging Patterns
    (pp. 129-154)

    It is possible to imagine several ways in which the harvesting of essential resources, or some other important life function, could lead to distinct patterns of spatial utilization. A species that depended on uniformly distributed, self-renewing resources, for example, could be expected to cover its territory or home range more or less evenly (Cody 1971; Pyke et al. 1977). At the other extreme, a species that relied on highly patchy resources would use space in a very irregular fashion, shifting the focus of its activities from one spot to another as a succession of patches went through periods of production...

  11. 8 Ecology of Mixed Troops
    (pp. 155-189)

    The study and understanding of mixed-species groups of primates can help us learn about the ecological benefits of sociality. First, there is usually no possible basis for social attraction between species based on access to sexual partners. Second, there is no influence of kinship or inclusive fitness to complicate social behavior between species. Third, the specificity of such associations may point to the selective forces involved (e.g., Booth 1956; Thonngton 1967; Gartlan and Struhsaker 1972; Klein and Klein 1973; Gautier and Gautier-Hion 1969; Gautier-Hion and Gautier 1974). Thus mixed-species associations offer a simplified form of sociality which must almost certainly...

  12. 9 Ecological Relationships in the Manu Primate Community
    (pp. 190-210)

    Here I provide a qualitative overview of ecological relationships among the thirteen primate species inhabiting the Manu region. Due to the large number of species, it has not yet been possible to complete long-term studies of all of them, and consequently the depth of our knowledge is somewhat uneven. Seven species have been studied intensively through a full annual cycle. These are the five treated here plusCallicebus molochandAotus trivirgatus. The latter two were studied by Patricia Wright in work so recently completed that the results have not yet been published.Cebuellawas observed for several months in...

  13. 10 Synthesis and Conclusions
    (pp. 211-234)

    In this chapter I shall try to resolve some major issues that have been lurking just below the surface in several of the preceding chapters. These issues concern the adaptive interrelationships between home range size, strength of territorial behavior, and group size. Specifically, I shall begin by considering how the distribution of resources in the environment controls the home range size of consumer organisms, and how the varying defensibility of resources leads to a wide range of behavioral responses when conspecific groups meet. I shall then examine the correlation between group size and home range size in order to reach...

  14. 11 Epilogue
    (pp. 235-237)

    The seemingly limitless forest that stretches from the base of the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean is being encroached upon today as never before. Modern man is penetrating into the remotest corners of the Amazon basin in search of timber, minerals, and agricultural land, and vast development projects are already underway. The most valuable timber species have all but disappeared from the vicinity of roads and navigable rivers, and several species of animals have been driven to the brink of extinction. Animal populations generally have suffered drastic declines due to laissez-faire exploitation for meat, hides, and the live animal trade....

  15. Literature Cited
    (pp. 238-252)
  16. Indexes
    (pp. 253-260)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 261-261)