Chapter 4 The Behavior of Living Primates

Chapter 4 The Behavior of Living Primates - Chapter 4 The...

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Chapter 4 – The Behavior of Living Primates Studying Primates - Human relatives, including monkeys and apes, are more closely related to our ancestors - Many aspects (physical and socially) of apes and monkeys are similar to humans Early Work - Early 20 th century – Robert Yerkes observed captive chimpanzees in the 1920s - First systematic investigations of behavior under natural conditions were carried out by C. R. Carpenter , who illustrated the limitations of studying primates in captivity - Solly Zuckerman concluded from his studies that sexual behavior was the original force behind social organization among primates Recent Work - The trend towards studying primates in their natural environment became popular in the 1950s and continues now Basis of Social Organization - There are a number of advantages of social organization / social life: 1. Defense – several pairs of eyes are better than one in the detection of predators 2. Competition for food is more successful when done by groups rather than individuals 3. Reproductive success – access to the opposite sex is ensured in groups 4. Extensive socialization with others in the social organization allows for the exchange of knowledge - A few Old World primate species (including the gibbon and siamang) live in groups of only an adult male, female, and their young. The orangutans are solitary, whereas the remainder of the Old World monkeys and apes live in large social groups (usually 10 to 50, sometimes up to 500) - Order in primate societies is maintained by several factors: a. Prolonged period of dependence (infants) b. Dominance and hierarchy (adults of one or both sexes have a defined social rank in the group) c. Kinship, friendship, sexual contacts, and competition for resources Learning in Childhood - Family ties, especially those based on matrilineal kinship (kinship traced through the maternal line), among higher primates tend to be strong and lasting - This slow development among a group of supportive relatives allows the primate to learn all the things it needs to fit into a complex society - Some primate groups participate in allomothering , where other females care for an infant (some mothers have difficulty reclaiming their children from high-ranking allomothering) The Dominance Hierarchy - Social animals establish a dominance hierarchy , a rank structuring of a groups usually based on winning and losing fights
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- Dominant animals can direct and control their own and others’ aggression - Dominance hierarchies are subject to influence by animals’ personalities and by social variables, and are usually not stable for long Sex and Status - Do dominant individuals produce more young than subordinates? -
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ANTH 145 taught by Professor Gatewood during the Fall '07 term at Lehigh University .

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Chapter 4 The Behavior of Living Primates - Chapter 4 The...

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