Chapter 6 Primate Ecology

Chapter 6 Primate Ecology - Chapter 6: Primate Ecology Both...

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Chapter 6: Primate Ecology - Both the distribution of food and the threat of predation influence the extent of sociality among primates and shape the patterning of social interactions within and between primate group o Food is essential for growth, survival, and reproduction The Distribution of Food - Food provides energy that is essential for growth, survival, and reproduction - The total amount of energy needed is dependent on four components o Basal metabolism: what an animal needs to maintain life when at rest o Active metabolism o Growth rate: infants and juveniles needed more energy o Reproductive effort: the energy needed for the female when she is pregnant and lactating - A primate’s diet must satisfy the animal’s energy requirements, provide specific types of nutrients, and minimize exposure to dangerous toxins o Fats and oils provide about twice as much energy as carbohydrates o Many plants produce toxins called secondary compounds to protect themselves from being eaten Caffeine and morphine are secondary compounds Alkaloids are toxic because they disrupt normal metabolic functions - Primates obtain nutrients from many different sources o Gum and fruits are important sources of carbohydrates o Insects provide a good source of fats and oils o Primates’ diets are considerably diverse, but some generalizations are possible All primates rely on at least one type of food that is high in protein and another that is high in carbohydrates Prosimians: protein from insects and carbohydrates from gum and fruit Monkeys and apes: protein from insects or young leaves and carbohydrates from fruit Most primates rely heavily on some types of food than others Frugivore: fruit eaters Folivore: leaf eaters Insectivore: insect eaters Gumnivore: gum eaters In general, insectivores are smaller than frugivores, which are smaller than folivores Smaller animals have relatively higher energy requirements than larger animals and need relatively small amounts of high-quality foods that can be processed quickly - The nature of dietary specializations and the challenge of foraging in tropical forests influence ranging patterns o Many potential food sources are patchily distributed in space and there is considerable variation in the production of new leaves, flowers, and fruit over the course of the year o Also, although there is more foliage in the rainforest, there are complications that arise when avoiding certain toxins Even so, their food supply is more uniform and predictable, so they have smaller home ranges than frugivores of insectivores Activity Patterns - The fact that many prosimian species are nocturnal suggests that primates evolved from a nocturnal ancestor o Cathemeral species: are active at intervals throughout the day and night - Primate activity patterns show regularity in seasonal and daily cycles
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Chapter 6 Primate Ecology - Chapter 6: Primate Ecology Both...

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