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Primate Behavior Notes

by: Demaree Rios

Primate Behavior Notes APY 203

Demaree Rios
GPA 3.9

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These notes cover chapter 7 of the textbook well as one week of lecture regarding primate behavior.
Principles of Physical Anthropology
William Pestle
Class Notes
physical anthropology, primate, evolution, behavior, primate behavior
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Demaree Rios on Tuesday March 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to APY 203 at University of Miami taught by William Pestle in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Principles of Physical Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Miami.

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Date Created: 03/01/16
PRIMATE BEHAVIOR  Why do we care?  Do we see similarities in other primates and how can we extrapolate how humans became the way we are?  An evolutionary understanding of beh.  2 Things Behavioral Evol. Is that Bio. Evol. Is not  Quick; responsive  Teleological; goal-oriented can choose to do something bc it will benefit you  COMPARATIVE BEHAVIOR  Beh.s expressed in diff. degrees in diff primates but also what sets humans apart?  Primate-wide trends  Symplesiomorphies  Can infer that it’s old, ancestor was exhibiting same beh.  Hominoid-wide trends  Traits unique to humans  Synapomorphies  Behavioral Ecology; study of the evol. of beh. w/ emphasis on ecological factors as agents of nat’l selection-> certain beh.s have been favored bc they increase reproductive fitness in specific environmental contexts  You are constrained in your beh. by your basic anatomy and beh. can influence anatomy (ex. Lactose intolerance is the default mammalian condition to drink milk after infancy, pop. W. domesticated cow’s milk effected biologically)  Anatomical potential vs. Performance  Optimal VS Fallback  Whether certain beh. have been selected for what is preferred or for when resources aren’t avail.?  Under what conditions certain traits for  ex. Using tools, not for  BEHAVIORS OF INTEREST (can see selection that would effect evolutionarily)  HABITAT CHOICE, where primates choose to live  Tropical  Diff. Arboreal environments; primary rainforest, secondary rainforest, gallery forest, savannah, woodland  forest live in diff levels/ substrates  Complex forest ecosystem, plants endure selective pressures too, trying to survive and reproduce  Primates possess unique degree of color vision=can distinguish fruit v seeds, ripeness, young vs old leaves-> plants and primates evolving alongside ea other  DIET  Strong connection w. anatomy  Important factors of food res.; Distribution, season, ability to obtain (insects harder to get than leaves)  Folivores; leaves  Frugivores; fruit  Insectivores/ Faunivores; insects  Gummivores; gum in sap from trees  Most primates eat a mixture of these diets  Relationship btwn body size and diet; the smaller animals tend to eat food that’s easier to digest, easy to get to (ex. Lorises eat insects) bigger animals can sit and eat a lot of leaves while it slowly digests  Diff foods present diff challenges  Location  Acquisition  Processing/ Digest  Correlated w. diff anatomical structures  Fruit eaters have broader incisors, simple stomach/intestine VS leaf eaters sharper molars, smaller incisors, complex processing in gut  Potential vs Performance  Larger brain tends to be correlated with higher quality diet bc that diet can maintain the brain  LAND USE  Home rage, core area, diff species have diff degrees of overlapping and exclusive areas  Diff ways of establishing territorial boundaries to avoid direct confrontation (ex. Howler monkeys)  Territorial patrols, move single file and quietly though forest, on alert (ex. chimps), if outnumber rival group they attack opposite group  LOCOMOTION  The means by which primates get around, huge variation among primates (more than any other group of  Arboreal quadrupedalism; grasping hands, roughly equal intermembral indeces (relatively similar limb length), long tail for balance  Terrestrial quadrupedalism; roughly equal intermembral indeces, shorter tail bc ground is uniform substrate, lesser grasping ability in feet ( still some in hand)  Knuckle walking quadrupedalism  Vertical clinging/leaping; longer legs, long grasping hands, flexibility in back and neck to kick off and turn among trees  Brachiation, suspensory; longer arms, long curved fingers  Bipedalism; long hind limbs, special spine curvature, greater stability in lower limbs, greater flexibility in upper limbs ( more efficient means, burn fewer calories at same speed as other locom.s)  This is not to say that restricted to only one means of locomotion  Smaller primates have greater propensity for leaping while larger primates have propensity for suspensory loco. -> selective pressures for more efficient means of locomotion  Selective pressures also applied to feeding postures, for ex…  Prehensile tail helps reaching for leaves  Suspensory beh. can reach foods other may not be able to reach  ACTIVITY PATTERNING  Diff taxa restrict activities to diff parts of the day  Diurnal; Haplorrhines (except owl monkeys and tarsiers), better foraging, better visual comm., more competition, increased predation  Nocturnal; ancestral/ primitive condition, seen in lower primates, reduced food competition, reduced heat stress (thermoreg.), enhanced sense of olfaction, less social comm,  Crepuscular; Dawn and dusk light avail at low level  Cathemeral; Switch activity pattern depending on resource avail and time of year/season, selective pressures for ecological niche- >avoid direct feeding competition w. other taxa so change activity pattern  Activity pattern can be correlated to diet/ caloric expenditure/ nutrients.  INTERSPECIFIC DYNAMICS: RESOURCE COMPETITION  Interaction when diff species come in contact w. one another  Vertical displacement; diff species live at diff (vertical levels) of forest  So many species of primates living so close and cross over ecological niches is evolutionarily strange…so there must be some sort of benefit/mutualism  INTERSPECIFIC DYNAMICS: PREDATION RESPONSE  Hard to study this, when humans around almost no predation (primate predators weary of humans), “Nairobi Effect”  Main predators; big snakes, crocs, carnivorous cats, raptors  Primate taxa that eat other primate taxa, Chimps, hunt monkeys  Behaviors that come out of this; efficient locomotion, appear threatening/bigger, complex alarm signals (specific to diff predators), mobbing (grouping together to intimidate)  SOCIAL LIFE  Social Structure; the composition, size, and sex ratio of a group, partially the result of nat’l selection, guides individual interactions and social relationships  Intraspecific level…social systems:  Noyau; a mother and her child, orangutans, seen in most primitive nocturnal, overlap home rages w solitary males but males don’t stay to care for baby  Monogamy; pair bonding, one male one female and offspring, lack of sexual dimorphism, don’t welcome other males bc infanticide seen among primates  Polyandry; one female paired w multiple adult males and offspring, deliberately confuse paternity such that all males care for offspring  Multimale group; multiple males and females, high degree of reproductive competition, when female repr. ready sets of competition among males, advantageous for males to be big (sexual dimorphism heavily pronounced bc of sexual selection)  One male group; multiple reproductive females + juvenile males + one reproductively viable male, gorillas, sometimes females seek reprod. w outside males (diversity)  Fission-fusion; depending on resources and time of day, group size changes and diff combo of sexes, flexible social arrangements, dominance hierarchy reproduce like multimale group  Hamadryas Baboons; break down into smaller groups  Size of neocortex related to group size; smaller brain size= smaller group size  Why live in groups?  Predation avoidance  Assistance care of offspring  Access to resources, food sharing  Access to mates  Social fundamentals  Mother-infant bond, greatest intensity of interaction, lasts throughout lifespan, male care for offspring is the rarer exception  Very few truly monogamous primate societies  Dispersal; philopatry, once a male has attained adulthood will be kicked out and they females stay in natal group, avoid incest, promote diversity  Competition and cooperation crucial to their society, affiliative beh.s (like grooming, sharing of food), usually reinforces hierarchy (dominant male in front of grooming chain, lesser male at the end of chain)  Not well adapted to living alone for a long time  Life History Traits; characteristics/ developmental stages that influence reproductive rates  Dominance hierarchies exist, determines access to food, resources, mating  Communication; convey info to other individuals.  Autonomic response; physiological respond not under voluntary control, comm. Isn’t intended (ex. Blushing, erection of body hair when excited)  Grooming; reinforces social relationships/bonds (affiliative behavior)  Displays; sequence of repeated behaviors that intentionally communicate emotional states, usu. reproductive or agnostic beh. (ex. Chest slapping, teeth bearing/ lip positions)  Reproductive strategies; beh.s favored by nat’l selection to increase reproductive success, needn’t be deliberate  K-selected; individuals produce few young so increased parental care/ investment  R-selected; individuals produce many young, less parental care


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