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Do Fruit Nutrients Affect Subgrouping Patterns in Wild Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)?

Busia, L and Schaffner, CM and Rothman, JM and Aureli, F (2016) Do Fruit Nutrients Affect Subgrouping Patterns in Wild Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)? International Journal of Primatology, 37 (6). pp. 738-751. ISSN 0164-0291

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Abstract

One of the main costs of group living is feeding competition. Fission–fusion dynamics are thought to be a strategy to avoid overt competition for food resources. We tested whether food abundance and quality affected such dynamics in a species characterized by a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics. We collected data on 22 adult and subadult spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) living in a large community in the protected area of Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh, Yucatan, Mexico. We recorded subgroup size and fission events as well as fruit abundance during 12 mo and conducted nutritional analyses on the fruit species that the study subjects consumed most. We found no effect of fruit abundance or nutritional quality of recently visited food patches on individual fission decisions, but the amount of protein in the food patches visited over the course of the day was a good predictor of subgroup size. While the absence of support for a relationship between fruit characteristics and fission decisions may be due to the short temporal scale of the analysis, our findings relating subgroup size to the amount of protein in the visited food patches over the course of the day may be explained by individual spider monkeys attempting to obtain sufficient protein intake from their fruit-based diet. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10764-016-9935-8
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 09:22
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2017 09:22
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s10764-016-9935-8
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5157

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