Intra-community infanticide and forced copulation in spider monkeys: a multi-site comparison between Cocha Cashu, Peru and Punta Laguna, Mexico



We describe two cases of infanticide, two suspected infanticides, and a forced copulation by familiar resident males in two populations of wild spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth chamek and A. geoffroyi yucatanensis). These are the first known infanticides and forced copulation in spider monkeys. Data were gathered from four neighboring communities of spider monkeys in Manu National Park at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station, Peru and two communities in the Otoch Ma'ax Yetel Kooh Reserve at Punta Laguna, Mexico, during intensive field studies of over 2,000 hr each. These are rare behaviors, but results suggest that mating history and sexual coercion are important in spider monkey social relationships. Am. J. Primatol. 70:485–489, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.