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  • Author or Editor: Caroline M. Bettridge x
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Predation risk places a pressure on animals to adopt mechanisms by which they reduce their individual risk of being preyed on. However, a consensus on methods of determining predation risk has yet to be reached. One of the most widespread ways in which animals respond to predation risk is by living in groups. Minimum permissible group size is the smallest group size that animals are able to live in, given the habitat-specific predation risk they face. We explore ways in which predation risk can be measured and analyse its effect on minimum observed group size in baboons. Using data on predator density, habitat composition and baboon body size, we investigate the impact of the components of predation risk on baboon group size, and derive an equation that best predicts minimum group size. Minimum group size in baboons is related to predator density and female body mass. Both of these elements can, in turn, be estimated from environmental variables. These findings present support for the argument that group living in primates is a response to predation risk and offer potentially new ways of investigating carnivore and primate ecology.

In: Folia Primatologica

Vocal repertoires and call structure can provide insights into the behaviour and evolution of species, as well as aid in taxonomic classification. Nocturnal primates have large vocal repertoires. This suggests that acoustic communication plays an important role in their life histories. Little is known about the behavioural context or the intraspecific variation of their vocalisations. We used autonomous recording units and manual recorders to investigate the vocal behaviour and structure of loud calls of the small-eared greater galago (Otolemur garnettii) in Kenya and Tanzania. We describe the vocal repertoire, temporal calling patterns and structure of 2 loud calls of 2 subspecies: O. g. panganiensis and O. g. kikuyuensis. We found considerable intraspecific structural differences in both loud calls. These are congruent with the current subspecies classification. Differences in vocalisations among populations are not consistent with the “acoustic adaptation hypothesis,” rather they are likely a result of geographic variation due to isolation caused by vegetational barriers in southern Kenya.

In: Folia Primatologica