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Selfish or altruistic? An analysis of alarm call function in wild capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella nigritus

Wheeler, Brandon C (2008) Selfish or altruistic? An analysis of alarm call function in wild capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella nigritus. Animal Behaviour, 76 (5). pp. 1465-1475. ISSN 0003-3472. (doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.06.023) (KAR id:53199)

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Alarm calls facilitate some antipredatory benefits of group living but may endanger the caller by attracting the predator's attention. A number of hypotheses invoking kin selection and individual selection have been proposed to explain how such behaviour could evolve. This study tests eight hypotheses for alarm call evolution by examining the responses of tufted capuchin monkeys to models of felids, perched raptors and vipers. Specifically, this study examines: (1) differences between individuals in their propensity to call in response to different threat types, (2) whether there is an audience effect for alarm calling and (3) the response of conspecifics to alarms. Results indicate that the benefits likely to be afforded to the caller vary with stimulus type. Alarm calling in response to felids is most likely selfish, with calls apparently directed towards both the predator and potential conspecific mobbers. Alarm calling in response to vipers attracts additional mobbers as well, but also appears to be driven by kin selection in the case of males and parental care benefits in the case of females. Alarm responses to perched raptors are rare, but seem to be selfish, with callers benefiting by recruiting additional mobbers.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.06.023
Uncontrolled keywords: antipredatory behaviour; audience effect; Cebus apella nigritus; mobbing; predator model experiments; tufted capuchin
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Brandon Wheeler
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 17:17 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wheeler, Brandon C:
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