Posture, microclimate, and thermoregulation in yellow baboons
- Cite this article as:
- Stelzner, J.K. & Hausfater, G. Primates (1986) 27: 449. doi:10.1007/BF02381890
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This report describes thermoregulatory behavior of free-ranging yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus) in Amboseli, Kenya. While resting in trees during early morning hours, baboons are directly exposed to thermal effects of wind and sun. We hypothesized that these animals would respond to microclimatic changes by altering their posture and body orientatio so as to minimize thermal stress. The results of this study indicate that air temperature, solar radiation, and wind velocity interact in their effect on behavior as predicted by this hypothesis. Specifically, the most salient cue for trunk orientation choice is wind direction, while posture is primarily influenced by air temperature. In sum, our results clearly demonstrate that when baboons are unable to minimize thermal stress by selecting a more favorable microenvironment, they do so by altering their posture.