, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 443-467

Social behavior of the wild black-capped Capuchin (Cebus apella)

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Abstract

The author undertook a field survey of the capuchin (Cebus apella) lasting 60 days from December 1976 to January 1977, and determined the basic daily activity of its groups and spacing of group members in the day time. Furthermore, based on studies of various types of interactions between individuals of the groups, he was able to show that (1) decisive rank orders exist both among adults and among sub-adults of both sexes; (2) grooming at the resting time is peculiar to adult males; (3) with quite mild agonistic interactions being maintained, a high tolerance exists between the group members; (4) alpha males represent individuals which can be called leaders of groups; and (5) a strong psychological or spiritual bond exists among the adult males, which can be termed a “male-bond.” Furthermore, according to comparative studies on some adjoining groups, it was found that the group structure is strongly influenced by the individuality or character of the adult males of each group. The present findings are generally in agreement with those forC. apella studied by the author and other researchers in other localities. It can be safely said therefore that these findings are probably common to this species of monkey. Based on a comparison with findings for three other species ofCebus, the author attempts to clarify the points of difference betweenC. apella and these three other species ofCebus from the viewpoint of behavioral science and sociology.