International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 175–185 | Cite as

The effects of foraging demand on social interactions in a laboratory group of Bonnet Macaques

  • Edward H. Plimpton
  • Karyl B. Swartz
  • Leonard A. Rosenblum


The relationship between foraging demand and social behavior was experimentally studied in a laboratory group of bonnet macaques. Fourteen adult animals were housed in a large outdoor enclosure containing three shallow gravelfilled circular containers that served as the foraging sites. During the experimental foraging sessions raisins were placed in the containers and the social and foraging behaviors of the group were observed for 50 min following the distribution of raisins. Three types of foraging conditions were inter-spersed with one another on different test days: (1) surface load— raisins placed on top of the gravel; (2) buried load— raisins hidden underneath the gravel; and (3) sham load— no raisins placed at the foraging sites. Three basic foraging patterns, defined along a temporal dimension, were seen. One group of animals completed 50% of their total foraging by the end of the first 15 min. A second group foraged more steadily through the session. A third group foraged late, completing 50% of their foraging during the last half of the session. The foraging patterns were similar in the buried and surface condition, although the patterns were more compressed during the surface condition. More aggression and more avoidance of other animals occurred in the buried condition than in the surface condition. Very little foraging occurred during the sham condition. There was no clear relationship between the patterns of interaction during foraging and nonforaging observation sessions. The results suggest the value of manipulative laboratory studies in examining the relationship between ecological variables and social behavior in nonhuman primates.


foraging demand social behavior bonnet macaque 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alcock, J. (1979).Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Mass.Google Scholar
  2. Altmann, S. (1974). Baboons, space, time, and energy.Am. Zool. 14: 221–248.Google Scholar
  3. Baldwin, J. D., and Baldwin, J. I. (1974). Exploration and social play in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri).Am. Zool. 14: 303–315.Google Scholar
  4. Baldwin, J. D., and Baldwin, J. I. (1976). Effects of food ecology on social play: A laboratory simulation.Z. Tierpsychol. 40: 1–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein, I. S. (1970). Primate status hierarchies. In Rosenblum, L. A. (ed.),Primate Behavior, Vol. I, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Bernstein, I. S., and Mason, W. A. (1963). Activity patterns of rhesus monkeys in a social group.Anim. Behav. 11: 455–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chalmers, N. R. (1968). The social behavior of free living mangabeys in Uganda.Folia Primatol. 8:263–281.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1977).Primate Ecology: Studies of Feeding and Ranging Behavior in Lemurs, Monkeys and Apes, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  9. Collier, G., Hirsch, E., and Hamlin, P. H. (1972). The ecological determinants of reinforce-ment in the rat.Physiol. Behav. 9: 705–716.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collier, G., Kaufman, L. W., Kanarek, R., and Fagen, J. (1978). Optimization of time and energy constraints in the feeding behavior of cats: A laboratory simulation.Carnivore 1:34–41.Google Scholar
  11. Gartlan, J. S. (1968). Structure and function in primate society.Folia Primatol. 8: 89–120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hays, W. L. (1963).Statistics for Psychologists, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Hediger, H. (1964).Wild Animals in Captivity, Dover, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Loy, J. (1970). Behavioral responses of free-ranging rhesus monkeys to food shortage.Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 33: 363–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marsden, H. M. (1972). The effect of food deprivation on intergroup relations in rhesus mon-keys.Behav. Biol. 7: 369–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marwine, A., and Collier, G. (1979). The rat at the waterhole.J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 93: 391–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Murphy, D. E. (1976). Enrichment and occupational devices for orangutans and chimpanzees.Int. Zoo News 23. 5:24–26.Google Scholar
  18. Rosenblum, L. (1971). Kinship interactions in pigtail and bonnet macaques. In Biegert, J. (ed.),Proceedings of 3rd International Congress of Primatology, Zurich 1970, Vol. 3, Karger, Basel.Google Scholar
  19. Rosenblum, L. A., Kaufman, I.C., and Stynes, A. J. (1964). Individual distance in two species of macaque.Anim. Behav. 12: 338–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rosenblum, L. A., Kaufman, I. C., and Stynes, A. J. (1969). Interspecific variations in the effects of hunger on diurnally varying behavior elements in macaques.Brain Behav. Evol. 2: 119–131.Google Scholar
  21. Rosenblum, L. A., and Smiley, J. (1980). Developmental weight gain in two species of macaque and the onset of progression of obesity in bonnet macaques.J. Med. Primat. 9: 247–253.Google Scholar
  22. Rowell, T. E. (1974). The concept of social dominance.Behav. Biol. 11: 131–154.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Southwick, C. (1967). An experimental study of intergroup agonistic behavior in rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatto).Behavior 28: 182–209.Google Scholar
  24. Southwick, C. H., Siddiqi, M. F., Farooqui, M. Y., and Pal, B. C. (1976). Effects of artificial feeding on aggressive behavior of rhesus monkeys in India.Anim. Behav. 24: 11–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wrangham, R. W. (1974). Artificial feeding of chimpanzees and baboons in their natural habitat.Anim. Behav. 22: 83–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward H. Plimpton
    • 1
  • Karyl B. Swartz
    • 1
  • Leonard A. Rosenblum
    • 1
  1. 1.Primate Behavior LaboratoryState University of New York, Downstate Medical CenterBrooklyn

Personalised recommendations