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Raptors and primate evolution

Authors

  • W. Scott Mcgraw,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, 064 Smith Laboratory, The Ohio State University
    • Columbus, OH 43210-1106, Phone: (614) 688–3794, Fax: (614) 292–4155, Email: mcgraw.43@osu.eduInstitute for Human Evolution, School of GeoSciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Phone: +27117176604, Fax: +27117176664, Skype: lee.r.berger, University email: Lee.Berger@wits.ac.za

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  • Lee R. Berger

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, 064 Smith Laboratory, The Ohio State University
    • Columbus, OH 43210-1106, Phone: (614) 688–3794, Fax: (614) 292–4155, Email: mcgraw.43@osu.eduInstitute for Human Evolution, School of GeoSciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Phone: +27117176604, Fax: +27117176664, Skype: lee.r.berger, University email: Lee.Berger@wits.ac.za

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Abstract

Most scholars agree that avoiding predators is a central concern of lemurs, monkeys, and apes. However, given uncertainties about the frequency with which primates actually become prey, the selective importance of predation in primate evolution continues to be debated.[1-9] Some argue that primates are often killed by predators,[5, 6] while others maintain that such events are relatively rare.[2, 7, 9] Some authors have contended that predation's influence on primate sociality has been trivial[10, 11]; others counter that predation need not occur often to be a powerful selective force.[12-14] Given the challenges of documenting events that can be ephemeral and irregular, we are unlikely ever to amass the volume of systematic, comparative data we have on such topics as feeding, social dynamics, or locomotor behavior. Nevertheless, a steady accumulation of field observations, insight gained from natural experiments, and novel taphonomic analyses have enhanced understanding of how primates interact with several predators, especially raptors, the subject of this review.

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