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The Influence of Group Size On Predator Scanning and Foraging Behaviour of Wedgecapped Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus Olivaceus)

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The behaviour of two groups of wedgecapped capuchin monkeys, Cebus olivaceus, a small one (n = 8) and a large one (n = 25) was recorded. Time budgets and other aspects of behaviour depended on group size. The differences can be explained as: adjustment to predation risk and intra-group food competition. In order to evade predation, members of the small groups scan more and stay at greater heights than those of the large group. Higher food competition within the large group was reflected in the composition of its diet, in longer travel distances, and higher levels of social behaviour. In particular during the dry season, the large group exploited unattractive and risky food sources. These results support ALEXANDER'S hypothesis on the causes of group formation.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Comparative Physiology, University of Utrecht, ), and Zoological Laboratory, University of Groningen, The Netherlands


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