Abstract # 13468 Event # 209:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 02:40 PM-03:05 PM: (Room 325/326) Symposium


C. R. Menzel
Georgia State University, Language Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
     Primatology assumes as its data 1) the behavior of freely moving and interacting individuals and 2) a physical environment extended in space and time, and structured by objects, which 3) the individual knows and values. A useful metaphor is that of the active organism. From infancy to adulthood, a primate moves, looks about, scans, and focuses while exploring and selecting its environment. The ways of using space and “knowing” the world are different for each species. Every individual and situation can be particularly well suited for addressing certain types of questions. By starting with a detailed look at what an animal does in its specific ecological situation, we find pre-existing preferences, behavioral tendencies, and activities that inform the development of experimental paradigms. I will give examples from my work on home range use in titi monkeys, foraging in macaques, and memory in chimpanzees, and from studies by others. I will discuss prospects for next-generation primatology. Topics potentially include a) social interactivity, b) cognitive capabilities of wild primates, c) latent learning by carried infants, d) space from the viewpoint of the individual, e) hierarchical plans and action sequences, and f) behavioral dispositions underlying general primate characteristics, such as arboreality. Supported by the Leakey Foundation and Templeton Foundation.