Sociosexual Organization and the Expression of Behavioral Flexibility
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Most vertebrate populations are structured, and population structure will be an emergent property of decisions made by individuals concerning where to reside and where to reproduce. Individuals of mammalian species, then, are generally not organized randomly with respect to features of the habitat or to one another (but see Caughley, 1964). Students of social organization seek to explain patterns of interindividual organization within the framework of organismic and evolutionary biology and to identify and measure the causes and effects of population dispersions. For most species of mammals, including primates, the determinants of population distribution and abundance are poorly understood. However, most investigators assume that these patterns are a function of the dispersion and quality of limiting resources (e.g., food, mates), dispersal costs ( Johnson et al., 2003), as well as pressures from predation (Dunbar, 1988; Sterck et al., 1997; Nunn, 2003; also see Smuts et al., 1987).
KeywordsEnvironmental Heterogeneity Behavioral Flexibility Howler Monkey Cooperative Breeding Primate Society
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