Activity Patterns, Home Range Size, and Intergroup Encounters in Cebus albifrons Support Existing Models of Capuchin Socioecology
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- Matthews, L.J. Int J Primatol (2009) 30: 709. doi:10.1007/s10764-009-9370-1
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Variation in ranging behavior, social organization, and feeding ecology among capuchins (Cebus spp.) is a classic example of how closely related species may be differentially adapted to their local environments. Marked differences in all 3 areas occur among Cebus spp. between the untufted capuchins (Cebus capucinus, C. olivaceous, and C. albifrons) and the tufted capuchins (C. apella, C. xanthosternos, C. nigritus, and C. libidinosus). The key socioecological distinction between the 2 groups has traditionally been that, compared with the tufted group, untufted capuchins eat more ripe foods, as befits their more gracile masticatory system; range more broadly in search of high-quality foods; and live in larger groups with more males and more agonistic interactions between groups. Here I assess how well the basic socioecological characteristics —activity budget, ranging— of previously unstudied Ecuadorian Cebus albifrons fit within this model. Few researchers have conducted studies on Cebus albifrons, despite its prominent role in the initial development of the model for socioecology of Cebus. The results of my 1-yr study of a single social group support the model’s general characterization of untufted capuchins in ranging and feeding behaviors, but also suggest that direct ecological and demographic effects, in addition to adaptation to local conditions, may explain additional variation in group size across species of Cebus.