Social and spatial structure of vervet monkey troops

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Josephs, Nathan
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology
This thesis explores the female social structure of free ranging vervet monkeys and how social structure affects spatial positioning of individuals in the troop. The effect of dominance hierarchies on female grooming interactions within troops on Samara Game Reserve has historically been quite dissimilar to patterns found in a population at Amboseli. Since the initial analysis of Samara cohorts, the troop sizes at Samara have decreased providing the opportunity to test whether the differences can be attributed to group size. These changes are argued to be due to dominance not being as influential a factor in large troops. In many primate groups dominance is a strong predictor of spatial position. However, since the Samara troop members tend to benefit from social integration but not necessarily dominance, I tested whether this is also the case in predation exposure. Broad social integration predicted lower levels of predation exposure whereas dominance did not.
vervet , social , spatial