Chapter Study Outline

1. Primate Societies: Diverse, Complex, Long-Lasting

a. Diversity of Primate Societies

b. Social Behavior: Enhancing Survival and Reproduction

i. Social signals establish and maintain social relationships.

ii. Primate societies are organized.

iii. Primates form long-term social relationships.

iv. Social behaviors in primates enhance survival and reproduction

and are thought to be maintained by natural selection.

c. Primate Residence Patterns

i. Primates have a wide variety of residence patterns, divided according to the number of adult males and females present in the group.

d. Primate Reproductive Strategies: Males Differ From Females

i. Males compete for access to females; this affects male body and canine size.

ii. Females compete with each other for resources to support young; this affects social behaviors.

e. The Other Side of Competition: Cooperation in Primates

i. Cooperative levels in primates are also high.

ii. Altruistic behaviors include alarm calls, grooming, food sharing, and caregiving.

1. Part of kin selection, or behaviors related to living with relatives who share genetic material

2. Seen most in cercopithecoids and chimpanzees

2. Getting Food: Everybody Needs It, but the Burden is on Mom

a. Food resources and the search for them occupy over 50% of a primate’s waking hours.

b. Especially high are the nutritional needs of females with offspring.

c. Quality, distribution, and availability all affect a female’s success at foraging.

3. Acquiring Resources and Transmitting Knowledge: Got Culture?

a. Notion of nonhuman primate culture can be controversial.

b. Jane Goodall was the first to assert that chimpanzees possessed material culture.

c. Now, other researchers have also seen behaviors related to the use and alteration of objects as a form of material culture.

4. Vocal Communication is Fundamental Behavior in Primates

a. All primates produce vocalizations serving different functions.

b. Researchers study primate vocalizations to understand how different sounds function.

i. Playback experiments are utilized to determine how primates respond to the vocalizations of group members.

c. Vocalizations can range from very soft to very loud.

i. Information transmission over short (soft) and long (loud) distances

d. Vocalizations may indicate a primate’s emotional state as well as giving the listeners information about the world around the caller.

e. Primatologists have learned that vocalizations have clear patterns, similar to human language.

i. Primate vocalizations are largely preprogrammed.

ii. Some innovations in sounds can occur.

f. Vocalizations also serve to name resources and monitor political landscapes within a group.

g. Language studies have demonstrated that great apes lack the capability to produce human speech, but possess rudimentary cognitive abilities necessary to understand human speech.