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J Comp Psychol. 1993 Sep;107(3):276-82.

Ontogeny of foraging behavior in wild vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops): social interactions and survival.

Author information

  • Department of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.

Abstract

The ontogeny of feeding behavior was explored by making observations of 32 vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) infants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. In contrast to adults and juveniles, infants appear to treat all primary food products in their diet as equally valuable. These age-related differences may reflect differences in food preference. To assess social influences, feeding synchrony between mother and infant was explored. From birth to 2 months, infants typically fed asynchronously with respect to their mother's feeding bouts. From 2 to 12 months, however, most infants fed at the same time and on the same food items as their mothers. Among infants, there was a significant positive association between the proportion of synchronous, same food bouts and the probability of survival. Variation among infants in access to resources and encounter rates with predators did not, however, have a significant effect on survival.

PMID:
8375144
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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