Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 93–110

Social cohesion among captive squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus)

  • F. F. Strayer
  • P. J. Harris

DOI: 10.1007/BF00302698

Cite this article as:
Strayer, F.F. & Harris, P.J. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1979) 5: 93. doi:10.1007/BF00302698


  1. 1.

    Descriptions of primate group structure emphasize both dispersive and cohesive activities as primary aspects of social organization. Among captive squirrel monkeys, laboratory studies of dominance relations are relatively abundant. However, a comprehensive behavioral analysis of Saimiri cohesive relations has not been completed. The present investigation provides such an analysis by focusing upon play, sexual, and affiliative activities in stable Saimiri groups.

  2. 2.

    Social interactions were observed among two captive groups containing three males and five females. Daily observations during a four-week period were conducted to examine dyadic patterns of social interaction. Three intercorrelated clusters of cohesive behavior were identified. These clusters were used to provide converging indices of play, sexual, and affiliative bonds.

  3. 3.

    Sociographic representation of social preference and social contacts indicated that social organization in both groups closely paralleled that reported for feral and semiferal Saimiri. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for assessing primate social bonds, as well as developmental changes in social cohesion as members of a social unit mature.


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. F. Strayer
    • 1
  • P. J. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Départment de PsychologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada