Chapter Summary

Focus of the chapter:

  • The different types of primates and the variations in their social behaviors
  • Primate vocalizations

Primates are very social creatures. They express themselves in social situations through a variety of behaviors, including grooming (a bonding behavior).

Primate social groups reflect the complexity of their social relationships. Group structures can range from one male with several females to groups of many males and females to solitary individuals. Primates show both competitive and cooperative behaviors, all of which can be studied within an evolutionary context.

Primate researchers have long been collecting evidence that nonhuman primates have culture, particularly material culture or the ability to make simple objects to alter their environments (e.g., stick tools to fish for termites).