Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monkeys don’t go for easy pickings

18.07.2007
Study shows primates consider more than distance when searching for food

Animals’ natural foraging decisions give an insight into their cognitive abilities, and primates do not automatically choose the easy option. Instead, they appear to decide where to feed based on the quality of the resources available and the effect on their social group, rather than simply selecting the nearest food available. These findings¹ by Elena Cunningham and Charles Janson, respectively from the New York University College of Dentistry and the State University of New York, have just been published in a special issue of the journal Animal Cognition². The articles in the issue look at the interaction of social and ecological factors and their influence on the evolution of primate intelligence.

The authors investigated whether a group of six white-faced saki monkeys, living on an island in Venezuela, used memory to travel to select feeding resources during a period of fruit abundance. The study looked at the resources available to the sakis and compared the observed distances traveled with predicted distances, using a combination of statistical analyses and computer models.

The monkeys’ daily foraging pattern consisted of frequent short feeding bouts and a few long feeding bouts. Surprisingly, the sakis traveled four times further than the predicted distances, suggesting that the sakis were extremely selective about the food they ate. The sakis preferred trees with abundant fruit and trees with water holes. When fruiting trees were abundant, the sakis traveled efficiently to the trees with the most fruit, ignoring closer, less productive ones.

Although the sakis took more risks by traveling further – by expending more energy and exposing themselves to predators for longer periods – choosing more fruit-rich sites allowed the group to limit feeding competition amongst themselves and to stick together to maintain intergroup dominance.

The authors conclude that primates’ travel decisions to feed take into account more than distance. Elena Cunningham commented, "They may also be based on value judgements of resource sites that take into consideration social as well as dietary needs and preferences. The monkeys’ foraging decisions may help to keep the group together."

References

1. Cunningham E & Janson C (2007). Integrating information about location and value of resources by white-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia pithecia). Animal Cognition (2007); 10:293-304 (DOI 10.1007/s10071-007-0077-4).

2. Special Issue: A Socioecological Perspective on Primate Cognition, No. 3/July, 2007. Animal Cognition

Joan Robinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.springer.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>