The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Impact of early life experience on fitness-relevant demographic outcomes in wild white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) males in Lomas Barbudal, Costa Rica


Anthropology; Behavior, Evolution and Culture Program, University of California-Los Angeles

Saturday 3:30-3:45, 200ABC Add to calendar

My recent published work in this population has demonstrated that (a) males who spend their first 5 years of life in a group with a stable alpha male disperse later than males who experience alpha male turnover, (b) males who disperse later are more likely to become alpha males and start siring offspring early in life, (c) those males who achieve external takeovers disperse jointly rather than singly, and (d) co-migrants have a coefficient of relatedness of r=0.25 on average. It is not entirely clear why there is a link between demographic stability early in life and success in achieving alpha status later in life. Here I explore the demographic consequences of growing up in stable vs. unstable groups. The study includes demographic data from six groups of capuchins in Lomas Barbudal, Costa Rica from 1990-2011. 58% of 133 males who grew up in groups with alpha turnover during the 1st 5 years of life lived to age 5, whereas 78% of 32 males growing up in groups with no alpha male turnover during the first 5 years of life survived to age 5 (P=0.04). Males who experienced no alpha turnover during the first 5 years of life co-resided, at age 5, with significantly more natal males within 5 years of their age than those males who experienced alpha turnover in the first 5 years of life (P=0.024). These natal males could potentially serve as play and co-migration partners, aiding them in taking over other groups.

Supported by NSF (9870429, 9633991, BCS 0613226, BCS 0848360), the Leakey Foundation, the Max Planck Society, the National Geographic Society, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and UCLA.

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