Colors of primate pelage and skin: Objective assessment of conspicuousness
Article first published online: 26 FEB 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 67–91, February 2003
How to Cite
Sumner, P. and Mollon, J.D. (2003), Colors of primate pelage and skin: Objective assessment of conspicuousness. Am. J. Primatol., 59: 67–91. doi: 10.1002/ajp.10066
- Issue published online: 26 FEB 2003
- Article first published online: 26 FEB 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 DEC 2002
- Manuscript Received: 6 AUG 2002
- coat color;
We present a quantitative means of assessing the conspicuousness of animal coats or other objects in terms of the color vision of each possible observer. We measured reflectance spectra from the fur and skin of many primate species in order to provide an objective survey of the possibilities of pelage coloration found in extant primates. We show that the orange coloration displayed by many platyrrhine and some strepsirhine primates, while being conspicuous to humans, would be cryptic amongst foliage to all males and many females of their own species. In relation to this finding, we briefly review what is known of the color vision of birds that prey on primates, and assess how conspicuous the orange pelage would be to these predators. Am. J. Primatol. 59:67–91, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.