Abstract # 158:

Scheduled for Sunday, August 27, 2017 10:30 AM-10:45 AM: (National Ballroom Salon A) Oral Presentation


THE FINDER’S ADVANTAGE DOES NOT TRUMP HIGH-RANK WHEN WILD VERVET MONKEYS (CHLOROCEBUS PYGERYTHRUS) COMPETE FOR SMALL, DISPERSED RESOURCES DURING A FORAGING EXPERIMENT AT LAKE NABUGABO, UGANDA

E. A. Smeltzer and J. A. Teichroeb
University of Toronto, Department of Anthropology, Toronto, ON M5S 2S2, Canada
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     While group-living provides benefits to primates, intragroup feeding competition is a major disadvantage. Among group members, high-ranking individuals can monopolize resources; however, subordinates may compensate by foraging at the front of groups, acting as producers, and gaining a finder’s advantage, acquiring some resources before dominants arrive. We examined how arrival order and dominance affected food acquisition during competition in a multi-destination foraging experiment with wild vervets (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) at Lake Nabugabo, Uganda. The experimental array consisted of six platforms in a large Z-shape within the vervets home range. Platforms were baited equally on every trial, each with a single banana slice. In 91 trials with two competitors each, dominant individuals (paired t-test: N=91, T=5.1, P<0.0001) and first arriving individuals (paired t-test: N=91, T=3.49, P=0.0008) acquired more food rewards than their competitors. Dominance was more important than arriving first though since first arriving subordinates could not acquire more banana slices than their dominant competitors (paired t-test: N=56, T=0.89, P=0.377). In contrast, a previous experiment at this site with clumped resources showed that subordinates arriving first could obtain equal rewards as dominants. Here, the benefits of arriving first were reduced with an arrangement of small, dispersed food items. However, subordinates still gained a finder’s advantage by arriving first because they did better relative to when they arrived second (Wilcoxon: N=9, W=43, P=0.01).