Primate Behavioral Ecology: 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Primate Behavioral Ecology

4th Edition

By Karen B. Strier


408 pages

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Paperback: 9780205790173
pub: 2010-08-27
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Primate Behavioral Ecology, described as “an engaging, cutting-edge exposition,” incorporates exciting new discoveries and the most up-to-date approaches in its introduction to the field and its applications of behavioral ecology to primate conservation.

This unique, comprehensive, single-authored text integrates the basics of evolutionary, ecological, and demographic perspectives with contemporary noninvasive molecular and hormonal techniques to understand how different primates behave and the significance of these insights for primate conservation. Examples are drawn from the “classic” primate field studies and more recent studies on previously neglected species from across the primate order, illustrating the vast behavioral variation that we now know exists and the gaps in our knowledge that future studies will fill.


Linda L. Taylor of the University of Miami declares, “I can't imagine teaching a course on primate behavior or ecology without this text. …Strier's writing style is a huge asset to keeping current information comprehensible for the target audience.”

William C. McGrew of the University of Cambridge, UK states, “Overall, the synthesis and integration are outstanding…this is one of the best organized textbooks that I have ever seen, in any field…it is clear that Strier is actively involved in the forefront and not some armchair type!”

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Primate Studies.

Primates as Study Subjects.

Descriptive Studies.

Box 1.1: Clues from Captivity.

Evolutionary Models and Problem-Oriented Studies.

Conservation Applications.

2. Traits, Trends, and Taxonomy.

Box 2.1: The Notable Neocortex.

Distinguishing Traits.

Cladistic Analyses.

Box 2.2: Fundamentals of Food Processing

Phylogenetic Analyses of Behavior.

3. Primates Past to Present.

Evolutionary History.

Primate Diversity in the Past.

Box 3.1: Mosaic Nature of Human Evolution

Interpreting Diversity Today.

Box 3.2: Hybrid Baboons.

Box 3.3: Lucky Lemurs.

4. Evolution and Social Behavior.

Natural Selection.

Box 4.1: MHC Genes

Box 4.2 Menopause

Kin Selection and Reciprocal Altruism.

Box 4.3: Multi-Level Selection

Individual Strategies and Social Organizations.

5. Evolution and Sex.

Sexual Selection.

Sexual Dimorphism.

Mating Patterns.

Box 5.1: Gibbon Games and Tarsier Tactics

Female Mating Strategies.

Male Rank and Reproductive Success.

6. Food, Foraging, and Females.

Food Quality.

Box 6.1: Forest Pharmacy

The Spatial Distribution of Food.

The Temporal Availability of Food Resources.

Box 6.2: The Power of Food

Interpreting Diets and Their Behavioral Correlates.

7. Female Strategies.

Ecology of Female Relationships.

Social Dynamics in Female Groups.

Box 7.1: Mysterious Matrilineage and Market Theory.

Population Consequences of Female Strategies.

8. Male Strategies.

Ecology of Male Relationships.

Box 8.1: Using and Misusing Infants.

Social Dynamics Among Males.

Box 8.2: Beyond the Group

Population Dynamics.

9. Developmental Stages Through the Lifespan

Fertilization to Birth.


Box 9.1: Parental Prolactin.

Weaning Conflict.

Juvenile Challenges.


Adulthood and Aging

Population Consequences of Life Histories

10. Communication and Cognition.

Components of Communication Systems.

Modes of Primate Communication.


Implications for the Ethical Treatment of Primates.

Box 10.1: Rehabilitation, Reintroduction, and Sanctuary.

11. Community Ecology.

Primate Communities.

Box 11.1: Primates and Parasites.

Predator-Prey Interactions.

Box 11.2: Predatory Perspectives.

Primate-Plant Interactions.

Conservation of Communities.

12. Conservation.

Threats to Primates.

Conservation Policies.

Box 12.1: The Primates’ People

Noninvasive Research.

The Next Millennium.

Appendix: Primate Names.



About the Author

Karen B. Strier (Ph.D., Harvard University, 1986) has been Hilldale Professor of Anthropology and Affiliate Professor of Zoology At University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1989. Her main research interests are to understand the behavioral ecology of primates from a comparative perspective, and to contribute to conservation efforts on their behalf. She has been studying the Northern Muriqui in Brazil's Atlantic forest since 1982. She is also the author of Faces in the Forest: the Endangered Muriqui Monkeys of Brazil.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Physical

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