Coordination of Group Movements in Non-human Primates

  • Claudia Fichtel
  • Lennart Pyritz
  • Peter M. Kappeler


Many animals are organised into social groups. Because individuals have different preferences and diverging needs, conflicts of interests exist; these conflicts are particularly revealed and negotiated in the context of group movements. Thus, group movements provide an excellent example to study coordination processes in non-human primates. In this chapter we review several aspects related to group movements in non-human primates. We first summarise the current understanding of variation in spacing patterns, types of leadership, and decision-making processes. We then focus on methodological issues and discuss various operational definitions of group movements, and we propose an operational definition that has already been applied successfully in studies of small free-ranging groups. We conclude by discussing the possibilities and limitations of transferring concepts and methods from studies of non-human primate groups to research on human groups.


Home Range Home Range Size Group Movement Group Cohesion Mountain Gorilla 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Fichtel
    • 1
  • Lennart Pyritz
    • 1
  • Peter M. Kappeler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioural Ecology and SociobiologyGerman Primate CenterGöttingenGermany

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