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Courses in Complexity


Gregariousness in the Nocturnal “Solitary” Primates

Leanne Nash
November 18, 2008


We will read about and discuss social variability among small, nocturnal primates that are often used as models for the social behavior of the earliest primates. There is more social variability between species and gregariousness than is often recognized by many socioecological theoretical models accounting for social differences among primates.


Suggested Readings:

Nash LT. 2004. Kinship and behavior among nongregarious nocturnal prosimians: What do we really know? In: Chapais B, Berman CM, editors. Kinship and Behavior in Primates. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p 200-222. Nash 2004 kinship book chapter. (*.pdf)

Gursky S. 2002. Determinants of gregariousness in the spectral tarsier (Prosimian: Tarsius spectrum). Journal of Zoology 256(3):401-410. Gursky JZool 02 tarsier gregariousness. (*.pdf)

Optional Readings:

1. For a case study in social and ecological diversity within one genus of small, nocturnal primates (See especially, Tables 3 &4): Radespiel U. 2006. Ecological diversity and seasonal adaptations of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.). In: Gould L, Sauther ML, editors. Lemurs: Ecology and Adaptation. New York: Springer. p 211-234. Radespiel 06 chapter Mouse lemurs. (*.pdf)

2. For more on costs of association between adult tarsiers Gursky S. 2005. Associations between adult spectral tarsiers. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 128(1):74-83. gursky 05 ajpa tarsier adult association. (*.pdf)

3. For more on field experiments of tarsier’s mobbing snakes Gursky S. 2006. Function of snake mobbing in spectral tarsiers. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 129(4):601-608. gursky06AJPA_snakemobbing. (*.pdf)

Time and location:
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
3:30 - 5:00 pm
Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity
ISTB-1, Room 401