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Folia Primatol (Basel). 2009;80(4):275-94. doi: 10.1159/000252586. Epub 2009 Oct 26.

Patterns of water use in primates.

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  • 1Department of Archaeology, University of York and Hull York Medical School, York, UK.


Aquatic resources are used extensively by many human populations but their role in the ecology of other primate species has been understudied. At least 10% of extant primates interact with aquatic environments, and a more complete understanding of these interactions is needed to get a complete view of primate behaviour. Five major factors appear to most strongly influence primate water use: thermoregulation, display behaviour, range, diet and predation. The ecological and evolutionary implications of these factors are discussed for extant primates as well as the possible influence of water on hominin evolution.

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