Abstract # 2621 Event # 209:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 11:15 AM-11:25 AM: Session 21 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


ARE FASTER LIFE HISTORIES IN FOLIVORES A MYTH? FIRST DATA FOR TRACHYPITHECUS PHAYREI CREPUSCULUS AND A COMPARISON OF ASIAN COLOBINES AND MACAQUES

C. Borries1, E. Larney2, A. Lu2, K. Ossi2 and A. Koenig1
1Stony Brook University, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook, New York 11794-4364, USA, 2Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University, New York 11794-4364
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Primate life history characteristics scale with body mass and brain size, but effects of phylogeny and food availability have also been documented. It has been postulated that folivorous primates have faster life histories due to a more constant food supply and perhaps allomaternal care (particularly common in Asian colobines). Here we investigate effects of nutrition, contrasting a folivorous taxon (Asian colobines) with a frugivorous taxon (Asian macaques) and distinguishing a second measure for food availability (captive/provisioned versus wild). We present data for wild Phayre’s leaf monkeys [43 females, 106 infants] collected in Thailand (2001-2009) including gestation [n=7], age at first birth [n=17], and interbirth interval [n=62]. Comparative data were derived from the original literature [macaques: n=16 populations, 12 species; colobines: n=12 populations, 11 species; each species maximally represented twice] and tested with General Linear Models. We found the expected effect of body mass for all three variables [p's<0.01]. Individuals in captive populations were younger at first birth and had shorter interbirth intervals than wild populations [p<0.001], while macaques did not differ from leaf monkeys [p’s>0.1]. Surprisingly, gestation was significantly shorter in macaques [p<0.001] and captivity had no effect [p>0.1]. For reasons yet to be understood, the predicted effect of folivory does not seem to hold. With the exception of gestation, the folivores and frugivores compared have similar life histories. Sponsors: ASP, Leakey, NSF, Wenner-Gren.