Effects of Habitat Structure on Perceived Risk of Predation and Anti-Predator Behavior of Vervet (Cercopithecus aethiops) and Patas (Erythrocebus patas) Monkeys

  • Karin L. Enstam
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


This chapter summarizes the ways in which habitat structure affects perceived risk of predation and responses to predators (i.e., anti-predator behavior) by cercopithecines (Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea), with specific reference to vervet (Cercopithecus aethiops) and patas (Erythrocebus patas) monkeys. Predation has long been thought to be an important selective pressure on primate behavior and sociality (e.g., Altmann, 1974; Busse, 1977; Struhsaker, 1981; van Schaik, 1983; Cheney & Wrangham, 1987; Cords, 1987; Isbell, 1991, 1994; Miller, 2002). Among Old World monkeys, predation has been argued to have favored traits such as large group size (e.g., van Schaik, 1983), multi-male groups (e.g., Henzi, 1988; van Schaik & Hörstermann, 1994), sexual dimorphism in canine size (e.g., Harvey & Kavanagh, 1978; Plavcan & van Schaik, 1994), and polyspecific associations (e.g., Gautier-Hion et al., 1983; Cords, 1987; Struhsaker, 1981, 2000), although others maintain that these traits have been selected for by feeding competition (Wrangham, 1980, 1983; Janson & Goldsmith, 1995), sexual selection (Andelman, 1986; Ridley, 1986; Altmann, 1990; Mitani et al., 1996), or, most recently, infanticide (van Schaik & Kappeler, 1997; Isbell et al., 2002).


Predation Risk Predation Rate Habitat Structure Alarm Call Tall Tree 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin L. Enstam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySonoma State UniversityRohnert ParkUSA

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