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 Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>