The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)

Determining the rate of co-occurrence in three species of neotropical primates and its indicative effects on group behavior


Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University

April 18, 2020 , Platinum Ballroom Add to calendar

Some species go through social adaptations in response to environmental pressures that drive them to interact with other species. These polyspecific associations are common among primates; driving factors behind mixed-species associations include increased foraging efficiency and decreased predation risk. The semi-habituated species living in the primary and reclaimed lowland rainforest at La Suerte, Costa Rica provides an opportunity to study three different New World monkeys, white faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus), mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta paliatta), and Central American spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). The objective of my study is to observe variation in behavior in relation to mixed species occurrences and determine mixed species relationships. I hypothesized that species would express more stress behaviors during interspecies associations. Additionally, species with dietary overlap would show more agonistic behaviors and larger species, such as spider monkeys, would initiate agonistic behaviors and more sedentary species, such as howler monkeys, would receive more aggressive interactions. Observations were conducted using 20 minute continuous focal samples for a cumulative duration of 25 hours. Activity budget of species in single and multi-species groups were compared in an excel data base. Results of the study yield no differences in each species behaviors during heterospecific and conspecific events. Additionally, implications of species heterospecific relationships are inconclusive. However, further data collection may reveal that species associations would be a behavior that contrasts among differing habitats.

Slides/Poster (pdf)