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Unformatted text preview: International Journal of Primatology, Vol. 23, No. 4, August 2002 ( C 2002) Avoiding Predators: Expectations and Evidence in Primate Antipredator Behavior Craig B. Stanford 1 Received December 10, 2000; accepted July 31, 2001 Predation and antipredator behavior are important but poorly studied in- fluences on the evolution of primate societies. I review recent evidence of predation and antipredator strategies among primates. I describe patterns of antipredator behavior and attempt to explain the variation among primate taxa and among antipredator strategies. I use predation by chimpanzees on red colobus and antipredator strategies by the colobus as a case study of how a primate prey species may respond to the threat of predation. KEY WORDS: predation; antipredator behavior; colobus; chimpanzees; sociality. “During any given day, an animal may fail to obtain a meal and go hungry, or it may fail to obtain matings and thus realize no reproductive success, but in the long term, the day’s shortcomings may have minimal influence on lifetime fitness. Few failures, however, are as unforgiving as the failure to avoid a predator: being killed greatly decreases future fitness.” Lima and Dill (1990) INTRODUCTION The importance of predation as an evolutionary force that shapes an- imal behavior is not in dispute. Since Darwin, biologists have recognized that social animals in nature must balance the need to find food and mates, often competing for both, with the necessity to avoid capture by a predator. 1 Jane Goodall Research Center and Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0032; e-mail: [email protected] 741 0164-0291/02/0800-0741/0 C 2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation 742 Stanford Unlike the chronic problem of failing to obtain food and matings, one fail- ure to avoid a predator is catastrophic to future lifetime fitness (Lima and Dill, 1990). We should therefore expect that the minute-to-minute behavior of a wild animal reflects these competing selection pressures. The paradox of the most fundamental primate behavioral adaptation, sociality, is in the tradeoffs it presents for individuals. We assume that group-living benefits individuals by providing more ears and eyes to detect predators, more help in thwarting predation events, and more group members to dilute the risk to any individual (Pulliam and Caraco, 1984). The tradeoff is that groups themselves may attract predators and other individual costs, such as those of feeding competition and mate competition, may increase in larger groups. Understanding the evolutionary role of predation in shaping primate soci- eties is therefore a central interest of primate field research....
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2011 for the course ANT 154bn taught by Professor Debello during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.
- Winter '10