, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 275–286 | Cite as

The behavior of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) at a dry-season waterhole

  • Curtis H. Freese


During a study of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, northwest Costa Rica, the study troop drank daily from a single terrestrial waterhole for approximately three months during the dry season. The drinking order of troop members at the waterhole was not random: adult males tended to be in the first quartile of the drinking progression, adult females generally occurred with equal frequency throughout the progression, and juveniles drank most commonly in the third quartile. There were also differences in the usual drinking ranks among individuals of the same age-sex class. It is hypothesized that those adult males which are usually first in the progression are increasing their personal fitness by reducing the risk of predation on their offspring and on potential mates. The tendency of adult females to precede juveniles may similarly reflect protection of offspring.

The daily visits to the waterhole by the study troop did not appear to greatly restrict the use of their range. It is suggested, however, that the availability of standing sources of water may be an important factor affecting the local distribution and density of capuchins in seasonally and chronically dry areas.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altmann, S. A. &J. Altmann, 1970.Baboon Ecology: African Field Research. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, B. B. &R. Tuttle, 1972. The behavior of gray langurs at a Ceylonese waterhole. In:The Functional and Evolutionary Biology of Primates,R. Tuttle (ed.), Aldine-Atherton, Chicago, pp. 351–377.Google Scholar
  3. Glander, K. E., 1975. Habitat and resource utilization: an ecological view of social organization in mantled howling monkeys. Unpubl. doct. diss., Univ. of Chicago.Google Scholar
  4. Hall, K. R. L., 1968. Behavior and ecology of the wild patas monkey,Erythrocebus patas, in Uganda. In:Primates: Studies in Adaptation and Variability,P. C. Jay (ed.), Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, New York, pp. 32–119.Google Scholar
  5. Hamilton, W. D., 1964. The genetical theory of social behavior. I.J. Theoret. Biol., 7: 1–16.Google Scholar
  6. Hill, W. C. O., 1960.Primates: Comparative Anatomy and Taxonomy, IV, Cebidae, Part A. University Press, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  7. Holdridge, L. R., 1959. Mapa ecológico de Costa Rica, A. C. con la clave de clasificación de vegetales del mundo. San José, Instituto Interamericano de Ciencias Agricolas de la O.E.A.,Proy. 39, Prog. Coop. Tec. Google Scholar
  8. Izawa, K., 1975. Foods and feeding behavior of monkeys in the upper Amazon basin.Primates, 16: 295–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kuhlhorn, F., 1939. Beobachtungen über das Verhalten von Kapuzineraffen in frier Wildbahn.Z. f. tierpsychol., 3: 147–151.Google Scholar
  10. Kummer, H., 1968.Social Organization of Hamadryas Baboons. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  11. Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia, Servicio Meteorologico de Costa Rica, 1971.Lluvia: Resumen de la Decada 1960–1969.Google Scholar
  12. Oppenheimer, J. R., 1968. Behavior and ecology of the white-faced monkey,Cebus capucinus, on Barro Colorado Island. C. Z. Unpubl. doct. diss., Univ. of Illinois.Google Scholar
  13. Rhine, R. J., 1975. The order of movement of yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus).Folia primat., 23: 72–104.Google Scholar
  14. ———— &N. W. Owens, 1972. The order of movement of adult male and black infant baboons (Papio anubis) entering and leaving a potentially dangerous clearing.Folia primat., 18: 276–283.Google Scholar
  15. Rowell, T., 1972.The Social Behavior of Monkeys. Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondswork, Middlesex, England.Google Scholar
  16. Slud, P., 1964. The birds of Costa Rica: distribution and ecology.Bull. Amer. Mus. Natur. Hist., Vol. 128, 430 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Struhsaker, T. T. &J. S. Gartlan, 1970. Observations on the behavior and ecology of the patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) in the Waza Reserve, Cameroon.J. Zool., Lond., 161: 49–63.Google Scholar
  18. Washburn, S. L. &I. DeVore, 1961. The social life of baboons.Scient. Amer., 204: 62–71.Google Scholar
  19. Yoshiba, K., 1968. Local and intertroop variability in ecology and social behavior of common Indian langurs. In:Primates: Studies in Adaptation and Variability,P. C. Jay (ed.), Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, New York, pp. 217–242.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Curtis H. Freese
    • 1
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations