, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 351-376

Time budget of the green monkey,Cercopithecus sabaeus: Some optimal strategies

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Members of a single group of green monkeys spent, on average, 44.8% of their waking time foraging, 46.7% resting, and 8.5% in social activities, over 1 year. There was significant variation in activity budgets over months (ranging from 35 to 55% of the time spent feeding). Diurnal rhythms of feeding and ranging were influenced by the daily cycle of temperature in predictable ways in different seasons: in the dry season, activity was reduced if it was too hot or too cold, while the temperature in the wet season did not affect activities. Feeding was also synchronized among individuals on a finer time scale, irrespective of the time of day. There was closer synchrony when feeding on less common foods. An ecological model of foraging time and energetics was tested, using estimates of the costs and benefits of foraging and predicting how these are optimally balanced in relation to the food density. Both feeding time and distance traveled increased as food availability increased. Costs and benefits were balanced over several days. Comparisons between populations of Cercopithecus aethiopswere made; differences in time budgets were compared with differences in the availability and quality of food. Insufficient comparative data are available for firm conclusions about the role of different energetic and nutritive strategies in population differences.