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Socioecology of Adult Female Patas Monkeys and Vervet in Kenya, CourseSmart eTextbook

By Jill D. Pruetz

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Apr 23, 2008

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For upper-level and/or graduate level Primatology or Biological Anthropology courses.


Socioecology of Adult Female Patas Monkeys and Vervet in Kenya, East Africa provides students with a glimpse into a research project from start to finish.  It discusses basic issues of studying primates and explores one of the major theories that has defined primatology for several decades. This text not only contributes detail on primate behavior, but also on the ecological variables that influence primate behavior.  These are often difficult to measure, but the unique environment at the study site enabled the author to address questions that are much more difficult to answer elsewhere.


Table of Contents


CH. 1:  The Research Question

Study species — Vervets and patas monkeys

Questions and hypotheses

Socioecological theory - Food resources and primate behavior

    Scramble and contest competition

    Social dominance

    Models of female social relationships

Testing the models on Segera: A natural ecological experiment

    Holding habitat constant

    Other factors affecting female social behavior

    Project goals revisited

Study groups

Study subjects


CH. 2.  Measuring primate behavior and ecology

“Measuring” ecology

Measuring food availability

    Commonly used methods

    Primates’ perceptions of the foods available to them

Clumped resources and contest competition


CH. 3: Foods available to vervet and patas monkeys

Hypotheses and predictions

Defining a food patch

Measuring food availability

    Large-scale food availability



    Small-scale food availability



    Swollen thorn foods

    Foods in the riverine habitat

    Herbaceous level food availability

Food availability on Segera


CH. 4: Feeding behavior of vervets and patas monkeys

Studying the feeding behavior of sympatric species

    Vervets and patas monkeys: Expected differences and similarities

    Whistling-thorn Acacia: Why focus on one food species?

Feeding behavior

    Continuous sampling

    Bout sampling  

    Rank-related differences in feeding behavior

    Patch depletion

Monkeys, Acacia, and ants

    Species differences

    Within-species differences according to rank


CH. 5: Contest competition and dominance in vervets

The concept of dominance

Testing hypotheses

Results: Contest competition and dominance in vervets

Dominance patterns and feeding competition in vervets

The significance of dominance to vervets

    Dominance style in Segera vervets

    “Typical” cercopithecines?

     Why a stable, linear dominance hierarchy on Segera?


CH. 6: Comparing vervet and patas monkeys in the same habitat.

Questions and Predictions

Agonistic and dominance behavior

    Food contestability in vervets and patas monkeys

    Dominance in adult females

    Feeding competition and whistling-thorn foods

Significance of feeding competition to vervet and patas monkeys


CH. 7:  Food availability, feeding competition and dominance in vervet and patas monkeys.

Female contest competition and dominance in vervets and patas monkeys on Segera

How do the models rate?

Summary and implications for future research


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Socioecology of Adult Female Patas Monkeys and Vervet in Kenya, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book

$15.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-65624-0