Advertisement

Primates

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 279–294 | Cite as

Sex differences and social organization in free-ranging spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

  • Linda Marie Fedigan
  • Margaret Joan Baxter
Article

Abstract

Several aspects of the social system of spider monkeys remain poorly understood in spite of previous studies of their behavior. Our work investigates sex differences of adultAteles geoffroyi to develop a better understanding of their social organization. A six-month field study of this species in Guatemala showed that adult males were both more aggressive and more socially cohesive than females, as well as more territorial. Adult females were more vocal, more submissive, more nonsocial, and more dispersed than adult males. Males were more likely to associate affinitively with other males than with females, and to direct their aggressive behaviors at females rather than males. Spider monkey society was found to be sex-segregated; males traveling and interacting in all-male subgroups, while females travel alone or with offspring.

These findings are used, in conjunction with other evidence, to draw inferences about the dynamics of theAteles social system, and to derive an explanation for the evolution of spider monkey social organization. The frugivorous diet ofAteles is linked to the dispersion females and to the cohesion of related adult males, who form cooperative territorial groups, in which the low level of male-male competition is related to the absence of sexual dimorphism. Spider monkeys provide an illuminating contrast to the general primate model, derived from Old World monkeys, which links sexual dimorphism in size to sex differences in behavior, and ultimately to sexual selection.

Keywords

Social Organization Field Study Aggressive Behavior Adult Male Adult Female 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baxter, M. J., 1979. Behavioral patterns relating to age and sex in free-ranging spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in Tikal National Park, Guatemala. Master's thesis, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton.Google Scholar
  2. Bernstein, I. S., 1970. Primate status hierarchies. In:Primate Behavior, Vol. 1,L. A. Rosenblum (ed.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 71–109.Google Scholar
  3. ————, 1971. Activity profiles of primate groups. In:Behavior of Nonhuman Primates, Vol. 3,A. M. Schrier &F. Stollnitz (eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 69–106.Google Scholar
  4. ————, &T. P. Gordon, 1974. The function of aggression in primate societies.J. Theor. Biol., 60: 459–472.Google Scholar
  5. Bramblett, C. A., 1970. Coalitions among gelada baboons.Primates, 11: 327–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ————, 1976.Patterns of Primate Behavior. Mayfield Press, Palo Alto.Google Scholar
  7. Bygott, J. D., 1979. Agonistic behavior, dominance, and social structure in wild chimpanzees of Gombe National Park. In:The Great Apes. Perspectives on Human Evolution, Vol. 5,D. Hamburg &E. R. McCown (eds.), Benjamin/Cummings Publ. Co., Menlo Park, pp. 405–427.Google Scholar
  8. Cant, J., 1976. Ecology, locomotion, and social organization of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Ph. D. dissertation, Univ. of California, Davis.Google Scholar
  9. ————, 1978. Population survey of the spider monkeyAteles geoffroyi at Tikal, Guatemala.Primates, 19: 525–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carpenter, C. R., 1935. Behavior of red spider monkeys in Panama.J. Mammal., 16: 171–180.Google Scholar
  11. Coelho, A. M. Jr., C. A. Bramblett, L. B. Quick &S. Bramblett, 1976. Resource availability and population density in primates: a sociobioenergetic analysis of energy budgets of Guatemalan howler and spider monkeys.Primates, 17: 63–80.Google Scholar
  12. ————,L. Coelho, C. A. Bramblett, S. Bramblett &L. Quick, 1977. Ecology, population characteristics, and sympatric association in primates: A sociobioenergetic analysis of howler and spider monkeys in Tikal, Guatemala.Yb. Phys. Anthropol., 20: 96–135.Google Scholar
  13. Crook, J. H., 1972. Sexual selection, dimorphism and social organization in the primates. In:Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man 1871–1971.B. Campbell (ed.), Aldine, Chicago, pp. 231–281.Google Scholar
  14. Demment, M. W., 1978. Nutritional constraints on the evolution of body size in baboons. Paper prepared for participants in “Baboon Field Research: Myths and Models” (unpubl. ms.).Google Scholar
  15. Downhower, J. F., 1976. Darwin's finches and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in body size.Nature, 263: 558–563.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Eisenberg, J. F., 1976. Communication mechanisms and social integration in the black spider monkey,Ateles fusciceps and related species.Smithsonian Contr. Zoo., 113.Google Scholar
  17. ————, &R. E. Kuehn, 1966. The behaviour ofAteles geoffroyi and related species.Smithsonian Misc. Coll., 151: 1–63.Google Scholar
  18. Fedigan, L. M., 1982.Primate Paradigms. Sex Roles and Social Bonds. Eden Press, Montreal.Google Scholar
  19. Hamilton, M., 1975. Variation in the sexual dimorphism of skeletal size in five populations of Amer.-indians. Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  20. Hrdy, S. B., 1979.The Langurs of Abu. Male and Female Strategies of Reproduction. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  21. Izawa, K., K. Kimura &A. S. Nieto, 1979. Grouping of the wild spider monkey.Primates, 20: 503–512.Google Scholar
  22. Jarman, P., 1974. The social organization of antelope in relation to their ecology.Behaviour, 48: 215–267.Google Scholar
  23. Kaplan, J. R., 1977. Patterns of fight interference in free-ranging rhesus monkeys.Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol., 47: 278–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Klein, L. L., 1971. Observations on copulation and seasonal reproduction of two species of spider monkeys,Ateles belzebuth andAteles geoffroyi.Folia Primatol., 15: 233–248.Google Scholar
  25. ————, 1972. The ecology and social organization of the spider monkey,Ateles belzebuth. Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  26. ————, 1974. Agonistic behaviour in neotropical primates. In:Primate Aggression, Territoriality, and Xenophobia,L. Holloway (ed.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 77–122.Google Scholar
  27. ————, &D. J. Klein, 1971. Aspects of social behavior in a colony of spider monkeysAteles geoffroyi.Int. Zoo. Yb., 11: 175–181.Google Scholar
  28. ———— & ————, 1973, Observations on two types of neotropical primate intertaxa associations.Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol., 38: 649–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. ————, & ————, 1975. Social and ecological contrasts between four taxa of neotropical primates. In:Socioecology and Psychology of Primates,R. Tuttle (ed.), Mouton, The Hague pp. 59–85.Google Scholar
  30. ————, & ————, 1976. Neotropical primates: Aspects of habitat use, space, population density and regional distribution in La Macarena, Colombia. In:Neotropical Primates. Field Studies and Conservation,R. W. Thorington &P. G. Heltne (eds.), National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C., pp. 70–78.Google Scholar
  31. Lancaster, J. B., 1972. Play-mothering: the relations between juvenile females and young infants among free-ranging vervet monkeys. In:Primate Socialization,F. E. Poirier (ed.), Random House, New York, pp. 83–104.Google Scholar
  32. Leutenegger, W., 1978. Scaling of sexual dimorphism in body size and breeding system in primates.Nature, 272: 610–611.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. ————, 1979. Evolution of litter size in primates.Amer. Naturalist, 1143: 525–531.Google Scholar
  34. ————, 1982. Scaling of sexual dimorphism in body weight and canine size in primates.Folia Primatol., 37: 163–176.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Lundell, C., 1937.The Vegetation of the Peten. Carnegie Inst. of Washington, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  36. Marsh, C. W., 1979. Female transfer and mate choice among Tana River red colobus.Nature, 281: 568–569.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. McKenna, J. J., 1978. Biosocial functions of grooming behaviour among the common Indian langur monkey (Presbytis entellus).Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol., 48: 503–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mitchell, G. D., 1979.Behavioral Sex Differences in Nonhuman Primates. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.Google Scholar
  39. ———— &D. H. Tokunga, 1976. Sex differences in nonhuman primate grooming.Behav. Processes, 1: 335–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nagy, K. A. &K. Milton, 1979. Energy metabolism and food consumption by wild howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata).Ecolgoy, 60: 475–480.Google Scholar
  41. Napier, J. R. &P. H. Napier, 1967.A Handbook of Living Primates. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Owen-Smith, R. N., 1975. The social ethology of the white rhinocerosCeratotherium simum (Burchell, 1817).Z. Tierpsychol., 38: 337–384.Google Scholar
  43. Post, D., 1980. Sexual dimorphism in the anthropoid primates: some thoughts on causes, correlates, and the relationship to body size. (unpubl. ms.)Google Scholar
  44. Pusey, A., 1979. Intercommunity transfer of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park. In:The Great Apes. Perspectives on Human Evolution, Vol. 5,D. Hamburg &E. R. McCown (eds.), Benjamin/Cummings Publ. Co., Menlo Park, pp. 465–478.Google Scholar
  45. Raleigh, M. J., J. W. Flannery &F. R. Ervin, 1979. Sex differences in behavior among juvenile vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops).Behav. Neur. Biol., 26: 445–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ralls, K., 1976. Mammals in which females are larger than males.Quart. Rev. Biol., 51: 245–276.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. ————, 1977. Sexual dimorphism in mammals: Avian models and unanswered questions.Amer. Naturalist, 111: 917–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Richard, A., 1970. A comparative study of the activity patterns and behavior ofAlouatta villosa andAteles geoffroyi.Folia Primatol., 12: 241–263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Rondinelli, R. &L. L. Klein, 1976. An analysis of adult social spacing tendencies and related social mechanisms in a colony of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) at the San Francisco Zoo.Folia Primatol., 25: 122–142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Sade, D. S., 1965. Some aspects of parent-offspring and sibling relations in a group of rhesus monkeys, with a discussion of grooming.Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol., 23: 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schultz, A., 1960. Age changes and variability in the skulls and teeth of Central American monkeys,Alouatta, Cebus, andAteles.Proc. Zool. Soc., Lond., 133: 337–390.Google Scholar
  52. Trivers, R. L., 1972. Parental investment and sexual selection. In:Selection and the Descent of Man 1871–1971,B. Campbell (ed.), Aldine, Chicago, pp. 136–179.Google Scholar
  53. van den Berghe, P. L., 1973.Age and Sex in Human Societies: A Biosocial Perspective. Wadsworth Publ. Co., Belmont.Google Scholar
  54. Wolfheim, J. H., 1977. Sex differences in behaviour in a group of captive juvenile talapoin monkeys (Miopithecus talapoin).Behaviour, 63: 110–128.Google Scholar
  55. Wrangham, R. W., 1979a. On the evolution of ape social systems.Soc. Sci. Inform., 18: 335–368.Google Scholar
  56. ————, 1979b. Sex differences in chimpanzee dispersion. In:The Great Apes. Perspectives on Human Evolution, Vol. 5,D. Hamburg &E. R. McCown (eds.), Benjamin/Cummings Publ. Co., Menlo Park, pp. 481–489.Google Scholar
  57. ————, 1980. An ecological model of female-bonded primate groups.Behaviour, 75: 262–300.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Marie Fedigan
    • 1
  • Margaret Joan Baxter
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.YaoundeCameroon

Personalised recommendations