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Student Prize Award Abstract
2002 Poster Paper Honorable Mention

WEAK RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN DOMINANCE AND FORAGING EFFICIENCY IN COLOMBIAN WOOLLY MONKEYS (LAGOTHRIX LAGOTHRICHA) AT TINIGUA PARK

P. R. Stevenson SUNY at Stony Brook (USA) - UniAndes (Colombia), Department of Anthropology, SBS Building 5th floor, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, 11794-4364, USA

Woolly monkeys are highly frugivorous primates with similar natural history than spider monkeys, yet woolly monkeys do not present the same fission-fusion type of social organization even when they live in sympatry (sharing the same food supply and predation risk). In contrast to other atelines, woolly monkeys feed on arthropods and this might relax the negative effects of gregariousness associated with within-group competition over fruits (Stevenson et al. 1994). Another difference between these two atelines is the degree of sexual dimorphism in body size, which is prominent in woolly monkeys, but not spider monkeys. An increase in body weight in adult male woolly monkeys does not seem to be favored by female choice since mating and reproduction are promiscuous. I present data on diet, activity patterns and ranging behavior of individual woolly monkeys at Tinigua National Park collected over three years, to examine the effects of dominance on foraging efficiency. I found that females with dependent infants (< one year) are, in general, more efficient foragers on fruits than dominant adult males. I suggest that the foraging efficiency of females with infants could be mediated by differential aggression by adult males on juveniles and other females (assuming that males are able to recognize their infants). Supported by Lincoln Park Zoo, Ban-Republica, Margot Marsh, Idea Wild and PC.


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