Behavioral flexibility of vervet monkeys in response to climatic and social variability

McFarland, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8245-9269, Barrett, L., Boner, R., Freeman, N.J. and Henzi, S.P., 2014. Behavioral flexibility of vervet monkeys in response to climatic and social variability. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154 (3), pp. 357-364. ISSN 0002-9483

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Abstract

Responses to environmental variability sheds light on how individuals are able to survive in a particular habitat and provides an indication of the scope and limits of its niche. To understand whether climate has a direct impact on activity, and determine whether vervet monkeys have the behavioral flexibility to respond to environmental change, we examined whether the amount of time spent resting and feeding in the nonmating and mating seasons were predicted by the thermal and energetic constraints of ambient temperature. Our results show that high temperatures during the nonmating season were associated with an increase in time spent resting, at the expense of feeding. Cold temperatures during the nonmating season were associated with an increase in time spent feeding, at the expense of resting. In contrast, both feeding and resting time during the mating season were independent of temperature, suggesting that animals were not adjusting their activity in relation to temperature during this period. Our data indicate that climate has a direct effect on animal activity, and that animals may be thermally and energetically compromised in the mating season. Our study animals appear to have the behavioral flexibility to tolerate current environmental variability. However, future climate change scenarios predict that the time an animal has available for behaviors critical for survival will be constrained by temperature. Further investigations, aimed at determining the degree of behavioral and physiological flexibility displayed by primates, are needed if we are to fully understand the consequences of environmental change on their distribution and survival.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Creators: McFarland, R., Barrett, L., Boner, R., Freeman, N.J. and Henzi, S.P.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: July 2014
Volume: 154
Number: 3
ISSN: 0002-9483
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/ajpa.22518DOI
1492446Other
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McFarland, R., Barrett, L., Boner, R., Freeman, N. J., & Henzi, S. P. (2014). Behavioral flexibility of vervet monkeys in response to climatic and social variability. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154(3), 357-364, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22518 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 16 Nov 2021 10:23
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:23
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44806

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