Abstract # 2986 Event # 19:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: Session 5 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


THE IMPACT OF THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANTIPREDATOR BEHAVIOR IN WHITE-FACED CAPUCHIN MONKEYS (CEBUS CAPUCINUS)

W. E. Meno1, R. Coss1 and S. Perry2
1University of California, Davis, Davis, USA, 2University of California, Los Angeles
line
     

In group-living primates, conspecifics can be a valuable information resource. Immature monkeys may be especially observant of their social environment when exposed to potential predators due to their lack of experience. Immature monkeys are predicted to increase their rate of alarm-calling after receiving confirmation (via conspecific alarm-calls) of a predatory threat. Similarly, conspecifics are expected to respond to immature alarm-calling in proportion to alarm-caller vulnerability and the level of threat posed by the predator. Mounted photographs of a rattlesnake, boa constrictor, indigo snake, and novel object (white inverted photograph) were presented to 10 infant and 10 juvenile white-faced capuchin monkeys. Focal individuals were the first to find and alarm-call at the models and were videorecorded until they left. Videos were analyzed for rate of alarm-calling and latency of first conspecific to alarm-call. Focal infants and juveniles alarm-called more when alone than after the arrival of a conspecific (Within Subjects; p < 0.001). Conspecifics did not differ in their latency to alarm-call following infant and juvenile alarm-calls, but they did differ in their likelihood of alarm-calling after hearing alarm-calls engendered by model dangerousness (Chi Square; p < 0.001). Results indicate that responses to snakes by young capuchins are influenced by the presence of conspecifics and that development of less reactive responses to nondangerous snakes might result from conditioned inhibition due to previous exposure to nonreactive adults.