The Socioecology of Adult Female Patas Monkeys and Vervets in Kenya: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Socioecology of Adult Female Patas Monkeys and Vervets in Kenya

1st Edition

By Jill D.E. Pruetz


192 pages

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Paperback: 9780131927872
pub: 2008-02-27
Hardback: 9781138403741
pub: 2017-07-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315662763
pub: 2015-07-22
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For upper-level and/or graduate level Primatology or Biological Anthropology courses.

Socioecology of Adult Female Patas Monkeys and Vervet in Kenya, East Africa provides students with a glimpse into a research project from start to finish. It discusses basic issues of studying primates and explores one of the major theories that has defined primatology for several decades. This text not only contributes detail on primate behavior, but also on the ecological variables that influence primate behavior. These are often difficult to measure, but the unique environment at the study site enabled the author to address questions that are much more difficult to answer elsewhere.

Table of Contents

CH. 1: The Research Question

Study species — Vervets and patas monkeys

Questions and hypotheses

Socioecological theory - Food resources and primate behavior

Scramble and contest competition

Social dominance

Models of female social relationships

Testing the models on Segera: A natural ecological experiment

Holding habitat constant

Other factors affecting female social behavior

Project goals revisited

Study groups

Study subjects

CH. 2. Measuring primate behavior and ecology

“Measuring” ecology

Measuring food availability

Commonly used methods

Primates’ perceptions of the foods available to them

Clumped resources and contest competition

CH. 3: Foods available to vervet and patas monkeys

Hypotheses and predictions

Defining a food patch

Measuring food availability

Large-scale food availability



Small-scale food availability



Swollen thorn foods

Foods in the riverine habitat

Herbaceous level food availability

Food availability on Segera

CH. 4: Feeding behavior of vervets and patas monkeys

Studying the feeding behavior of sympatric species

Vervets and patas monkeys: Expected differences and similarities

Whistling-thorn Acacia: Why focus on one food species?

Feeding behavior

Continuous sampling

Bout sampling

Rank-related differences in feeding behavior

Patch depletion

Monkeys, Acacia, and ants

Species differences

Within-species differences according to rank

CH. 5: Contest competition and dominance in vervets

The concept of dominance

Testing hypotheses

Results: Contest competition and dominance in vervets

Dominance patterns and feeding competition in vervets

The significance of dominance to vervets

Dominance style in Segera vervets

“Typical” cercopithecines?

Why a stable, linear dominance hierarchy on Segera?

CH. 6: Comparing vervet and patas monkeys in the same habitat.

Questions and Predictions

Agonistic and dominance behavior

Food contestability in vervets and patas monkeys

Dominance in adult females

Feeding competition and whistling-thorn foods

Significance of feeding competition to vervet and patas monkeys

CH. 7: Food availability, feeding competition and dominance in vervet and patas monkeys.

Female contest competition and dominance in vervets and patas monkeys on Segera

How do the models rate?

Summary and implications for future research

About the Author

Dr. Jill Pruetz is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Iowa State University, specializing in Biological Anthropology. As a primatologist, Dr. Pruetz has studied the behavior of non-human primates such as chimpanzees, spider monkeys, howling monkeys, tamarins, patas monkeys, and vervets in various locales. Countries in which she has conducted fieldwork include Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Senegal. Dr. Pruetz is especially interested in the influence of ecology on primate and early human feeding, ranging, and social behavior. She currently has a research project in southeastern Senegal which has been funded by National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.

About the Series

Primate Field Studies

Monographs on the Lives of Wild Primates

Learn more…

Subject Categories

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