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The Evolution of Primate Societies

Edited by John C. Mitani, Josep Call, Peter M. Kappeler, Ryne A. Palombit, and Joan B. Silk

The Evolution of Primate Societies
Individual chapters in PDF format can be purchased for $5.00 each.

Edited by John C. Mitani, Josep Call, Peter M. Kappeler, Ryne A. Palombit, and Joan B. Silk

744 pages | 157 halftones, 34 line drawings, 44 tables | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2012
Paper $58.00 ISBN: 9780226531724 Published October 2012
Cloth $156.00 ISBN: 9780226531717 Published October 2012
E-book $5.00 to $58.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226531731 Published October 2012

In 1987, the University of Chicago Press published Primate Societies, the standard reference in the field of primate behavior for an entire generation of students and scientists. But in the twenty-five years since its publication, new theories and research techniques for studying the Primate order have been developed, debated, and tested, forcing scientists to revise their understanding of our closest living relatives.

Intended as a sequel to Primate Societies, The Evolution of Primate Societies compiles thirty-one chapters (each of which can be purchased individually) that review the current state of knowledge regarding the behavior of nonhuman primates. Chapters are written by the leading authorities in the field and organized around four major adaptive problems primates face as they strive to grow, maintain themselves, and reproduce in the wild. The inclusion of chapters on the behavior of humans at the end of each major section represents one particularly novel aspect of the book, and it will remind readers what we can learn about ourselves through research on nonhuman primates. The final section highlights some of the innovative and cutting-edge research designed to reveal the similarities and differences between nonhuman and human primate cognition. The Evolution of Primate Societies will be every bit the landmark publication its predecessor has been.



Chapter 1: Introduction
The Editors
The goal of this work is to summarize the state of understanding of the behavior of nonhuman primates. Honoring its parent, Primate Societies (Smuts et al. 1987), it provides a standard reference for undergraduate and graduate students as well as scholars. The organization of the book strives to reflect the new approach the field has been taking in moving away from studying primates through taxa and instead looking at the problems they face.

Chapter 2:The Behavioral Ecology of Strepsirrhines and Tarsiers
Peter M. Kappeler
A summary of strepsirrhine and tarsier diversity, ecology, life history and social systems, this chapter concludes that although there is a great amount of diversity across this group there are several traits that distinguish them from anthropoids. The chapter suggests that further examination of convergence and alternate evolutionary solutions among these species ought to be a research priority.
Chapter 3: The Behavior, Ecology, and Social Evolution of New World Monkeys
Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Anthony Di Fiore, and Maren Huck
An overview of the behavior, ecology and social evolution of platyrrhines. New World monkeys display little ecological diversity however are extremely diverse in anatomy and social systems. Behavior is found to vary between closely related species as well as within species. This chapter explores the linkages between historical and demographic contingencies and local and intra-population variation in social systems.
Chapter 4: The Behavioral Ecology of Colobine Monkeys
Elisabeth H. M. Sterck
An exploration of the range and limits of behavioral diversity of colobines, integrating their biogeography, ecology and social behavior. The colobines are socioecological models, for understanding the roots of infanticide in particular. Studies within the last 25 years suggest a relatively uniform taxon among some behavior: females not forming coalitions and mild aggression. There is much greater variance in grouping and dispersal patterns across the species.
Chapter 5: The Behavior, Ecology, and Social Evolution of Cercopithecine Monkeys
Marina Cords
A review of the behavior of cercopithecine monkeys living in natural populations, and an exploration of the understanding of the role of aggressive competition and kinship in structuring primate societies especially with female relationships.
Chapter 6: The Apes: Taxonomy, Biogeography, Life Histories, and Behavioral Ecology
David P. Watts
A survey of ape taxonomy, biogeography, life histories, social organization, feeding ecologies, mating systems and social relationships. The chapter recognizes the incredible diversity in ape body size, social organization, ecology and social systems and the importance research on this has been to understanding ecological influences and on both female dispersion and social relationships as well as female and male mating and social strategies.
Chapter 7: Food as a Selective Force in Primates
Colin A. Chapman, Jessica M. Rothman, and Joanna E. Lambert
An examination of the feeding troubles primates encounter and the strategies they use to fill their nutritional needs as well as looks at the consequences of adopting specific strategies. A review of what is known about primate diets and primate foraging strategies which relies on identifying new ways to interpret diet and feeding data.
Chapter 8: Predation
Claudia Fichtel
A discussion of predation and its behavioral effects, specifically focused on predators and the strategies they employ as well as the mechanisms prey use to identify predators and how they adapt behaviorally.
Chapter 9: Ecological and Social Influcences on Sociality
Oliver Schülke and Julia Ostner
This overview of primate social systems evaluates the socio-ecological model dealing with ecological influences on social structure, mating systems and social organization. Additionally the chapter evaluates other possible explanations for the diversity of primate societies.
Chapter 10: Life-History Evolution
Carel P. van Schaik and Karin Isler
This chapter explores the life histories of primates in the context of a broader mammalian perspective. Looking at patterns in life histories of primates and mammals they discuss life histories theory of their evolution. The main theoretical framework holds that life histories are an adaption to rates of certain extrinsic mortality.
Chapter 11: Socialization and Development of Behavior
Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf and Stephen R. Ross
Primates have an extended juvenile and adolescent period during which they develop most of the skills and acquire most of the relationships they need to survive as adults. What factors shape primate social and behavioral development?
Chapter 12: Genetic Consequences of Primate Social Organization
Anthony Di Fiore
Recognizing the social systems developed by primates, this chapter outlines our understanding of how some aspects of primate social systems influence the genetic structure of primate populations and the relations within population groups. It also discusses how genetic structure has influenced primate decisions about mating, dispersal and social systems.
Chapter 13: Human Survival and Life History in Evolutionary Perspective
Michael Gurven
A survey of theoretical approaches to human life history as well as features of human adaptability overtime, with a focus on hunter-gatherers. The chapter also integrates psychological adaptations associated with predator avoidance and social cognition with cultural learning.
Chapter 14: From Maternal Investment to Lifetime Maternal Care
Maria A. van Noordwijk
This chapter strives to examine the variables affecting maternal care and investment throughout an offspring’s life. The author examines examples of this such as the timing of reproduction relative to food supply, leading to discussions of maternal philosophy.
Chapter 15: Magnitude and Sources of Variation in Female Reproductive Performance
Anne Pusey
Looking at long-term studies of primates, this chapter examines age affects on reproduction and other factors that might account for variation in female reproductive performance, including dominance rank and in some species weight, health, strength of social bonds and the presence of allomothers.
Chapter 16: Mate Choice
Peter M. Kappeler
This chapter examines what is known about mate choice, identifies priorities for discerning mater choice from male competition.
Chapter 17: Mating, Parenting, and Male Reproductive Strategies
Martin N. Muller and Melissa Emery Thompson
What role do male primates have in the reproductive process? This chapter illustrates the contrast between the male primate’s biological inclination to pursue additional mating opportunities and the care-giving role they frequently adopt, and how male caring varies across species.
Chapter 18: Magnitude and Sources of Variation in Male Reproductive Performance
Susan C. Alberts
This chapter discusses the four major components of reproductive performance in male primates—age at maturity, longevity of reproductive capability, infant production and infant survival—and the causes for variation within these components.
Chapter 19: Infanticide: Male Strategies and Female Counterstrategies
Ryne A. Palombit
This chapter examines the effect of male infanticide on female reproduction within the primate family. It provides empirical proof that infanticide is widely practiced by male primates, and further examines the behavioral changes that infant killings trigger in female primates. The prevalence of infanticide has made males both an evolutionary problem and solution by increasing female selectivity in primate social evolution.
Chapter 20: The Socioecology of Human Reproduction
Frank W. Marlowe
This chapter focuses on the distinction between the reproductive behavior of hunter-gatherers living in warm climates and those living in cold climates, as well as the difference in reproduction between rural and urban dwellers. It argues that domestication of plants and animals contributed to the rise of male hierarchy, and changes in female behavior led to greater fertility.
Chapter 21: Cooperation Among Kin
Kevin A. Langergraber
This chapter examines the role of kin selection in varied primate social situations. It explores how primates begin to recognize and qualify kinship, and how this almost nepotistic behavior affects cooperation among different types of primates, such as sedentary females or nomadic males. Kin selection inspires cooperation within primate social constructs and that in most cases primates seek to directly increase both their own fitness as well as their kin’s fitness through this cooperation.
Chapter 22: Cooperation among Non-kin: Reciprocity, Markets, Mutualism
Ian C. Gilby
This chapter argues that primates actively cooperate with nonkin for multiple reasons, including increasing fitness, exchange, and patterns of past or possibilities of future cooperation.
Chapter 23: The Regulation of Social Relationships
Filippo Aureli, Orlaith N. Fraser, Colleen M. Schaffner, and Gabriele Schino
This chapter discusses the social constructs primates operate within to create and sustain dynamic relationships with one another. Focusing largely on partnerships between two primates, it also examines the role of aggression and affiliation in addition to tools that prevent aggressive escalation and, in instances where it cannot be prevented, diminish its consequences.
Chapter 24: The Adaptive Value of Sociality
Joan B. Silk
This chapter reviews the nature of social bonds among primates and the consequences sociality has on their Darwinian fitness. It examines this trend in both dyadic and group social situations. The chapter contends that the size of a primate’s social group as well as its relationship with immediate relatives has a profound effect on the animal’s fitness.
Chapter 25: Social Regard: Evolving a Psychology of Cooperation
Keith Jensen
This chapter questions whether primates are able to gauge one another’s feelings, desires, etc., and if they are, whether or not that knowledge has any influence on their behavior. It proposes that primates have some kind of cognitive process to determine how they will act in a social setting, and examines the potential psychological bases for both altruistic and damaging behavior.
Chapter 26: Human Sociality
Michael Alvard
This chapter argues that external cultural and communal influences dictate human socialization and reproduction. Kin selection and social reciprocity are important components of human social interaction, as well as humans’ unique brand of cooperation. This chapter posits that individual human fitness is heavily based on group structure, and that this setup is the driving force behind the complexity of human sociality.
Chapter 27: Solving Ecological Problems
Charles Menzel
This chapter examines the interrelatedness of various primate species’ movements within an environment and knowledge of that environment. It argues that primates do record and remember information about an environment instead of relying on moment-to-moment perceptions of their surroundings.This may enable better prediction of animal movements, and also help deduce psychological processes through its motions and reactions to external stimuli.
Chapter 28: Knowledge of Social Relations
Robert M. Seyfarth and Dorothy L. Cheney
Tracking the evolution of social cognition in primates, this chapter examines why primate social structure is more complex than that of other species. Primates, it contends, are able to build different relationships with one another, recognize and draw conclusions about relationships between other individuals, and modify their behavior according to their relationships or role in their community.
Chapter 29: Communication Strategies
Klaus Zuberbühler
Primates use three major channels—olfaction, vision and sound—to communicate with one another. This chapter discusses the various nuances, benefits and drawbacks to these communication methods, as well as the effect certain situations have on the way primates employ these methods.
Chapter 30: Understanding Other Minds
Josep Call and Laurie R. Santos
This chapter focuses on the two main traditions, ethological and psychological, of studying primate social knowledge. It explores the validity of these two traditions. It examines both the argument that primates make decisions based on immediate observation and the argument that their actions are more calculated.
Chapter 31: Social Learning, Traditions, and Culture
Andrew Whiten
Culture, this chapter argues, is a defining characteristic of humanity that separates man from other primates, but one that evolved over time. It explores prominent literature that uses comparative primatology to study the origins of human culture. The chapter posits that studies of other primates have played a crucial role in shaping human understanding of social learning and culture.
Chapter 32: Human Cultural Cognition
Esther Herrmann and Michael Tomasello
This chapter argues that human cognition is collaborative, cumulative and normative, and attempts to identify the processes that enable human cultural cognition. It contends that, on a fundamental level, human cognition is not entirely different from that of other primates, but their ability to collaborate and their “cultural intelligence” is what sets them apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Additionally, the flexibility of human cognitive skills allows them to better adapt to changing social situations.
Review Quotes
Larissa Swedell, Queens College | American Journal of Human Biology
The Evolution of Primate Societies is certain to become an essential reference in primatology for years to come. It is a state of the art collection of theoretically grounded reviews in primatology—arguably the best such compilation available—and is undoubtedly already required reading for undergraduate and graduate courses alike. Intelligent editorial decisions have yielded a volume that does not conflict with but instead complements its alter ego, Primates in Perspective, and the two will most certainly walk hand-in-hand to guide the next generation of primatologists.”
E. Delson, CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College | Choice
“Highly recommended.”
W. Scott McGraw, Ohio State University | Quarterly Review of Biology
“This textbook consists of well-referenced reviews with handy chapter summaries and is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.”
John G. Fleagle, Stony Brook University
“This volume is a most impressive collection of insightful, up-to-date reviews of the major issues in our understanding of the behavior and ecology of primates, including humans. It is a landmark publication and the essential starting point for future research.”
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