Contract grant sponsor: University of California, Davis, Summer Session Research Fund; contract grant sponsor: National Science Foundation; grant number: SBR-0613226; grant number: BCS-0848360; contract grant sponsor: L.S.B. Leakey Foundation; contract grant sponsor: National Geographic Society.
Development of Snake-Directed Antipredator Behavior by Wild White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys: II. Influence of the Social Environment
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Special Issue: Special Section on Reproductive Function and Dysfunction in Nonhuman Primates
Volume 75, Issue 3, pages 292–300, March 2013
How to Cite
MENO, W., COSS, R. G. and PERRY, S. (2013), Development of Snake-Directed Antipredator Behavior by Wild White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys: II. Influence of the Social Environment. Am. J. Primatol., 75: 292–300. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22109
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 22 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 2 JUL 2012
- University of California, Davis, Summer Session Research Fund
- National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: SBR-0613226, BCS-0848360
- L.S.B. Leakey Foundation
- National Geographic Society
- alarm calling;
- antipredator behavior;
- snake predators;
- social learning;
- Cebus capucinus
Young animals are known to direct alarm calls at a wider range of animals than adults. If social cues are safer and/or more reliable to use than asocial cues for learning about predators, then it is expected that the development of this behavior will be affected by the social environment. Our study examined the influence of the social environment on antipredator behavior in infant, juvenile, and adult wild white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) at Lomas Barbudal Biological Reserve in Costa Rica during presentations of different species of model snakes and novel models. We examined (a) the alarm calling behavior of the focal animal when alone versus in the vicinity of conspecific alarm callers and (b) the latency of conspecifics to alarm call once the focal animal alarm called. Focal animals alarm called more when alone than after hearing a conspecific alarm call. No reliable differences were found in the latencies of conspecifics to alarm call based on age or model type. Conspecifics were more likely to alarm call when focal individuals alarm called at snake models than when they alarm called at novel models. Results indicate (a) that alarm calling may serve to attract others to the predator's location and (b) that learning about specific predators may begin with a generalized response to a wide variety of species, including some nonthreatening ones, that is winnowed down via Pavlovian conditioned inhibition into a response directed toward specific dangerous species. This study reveals that conspecifics play a role in the development of antipredator behavior in white-faced capuchins. Am. J. Primatol. 75:292-300, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.