Central American squirrel monkey

From Anarchy In Action
Squirrel monkey1-cropped.jpg

Central American squirrel monkeys (S. oerstedti), found in forests of Costa Rica and Panama, eat fruits and insects and are preyed on by raptors and snakes. They exhibit no hierarchy between males and females or among females, and very little hierarchy among males. They typically live in groups of 40 to 65 animals.[1]

Cooperation is widespread among the squirrel monkeys. While the females perform most of child-raising, males vigorously defend the infants.[2] Males cooperate to defend their community from predators and in investigating females and aggression toward neighboring groups.[3]

Young squirrel monkeys spend most of their time playing, and friendships formed in the early play groups often end up being life-long.[4]

The Central American squirrel monkey belongs to the Saimiri genus. South America's squirrel monkey species are far more hierarchical. The difference in social organization may have to do with how fruit is distributed. Central American squirrel monkeys forage large fruit patches, where they tend to find few fruits at a time and quickly move on to other patches. Peru's squirrel monkeys (S. boliviensis), however, tend to find large amounts of fruit at a time, and members of a group compete for the fruit. Common squirrel monkeys (S. sciureus) tend to find fruit concentrated in small patches, so members of a group will fiercely compete to control the small patch.[5]

The Central American squirrel monkey is threatened by deforestation, forest fragmentation, and hunting.[6]

  1. Kristina Cawthon Lang, "Primate Factsheets: Squirrel monkey," 2006 March 16, http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/squirrel_monkey/behav.
  2. Lang, "Primate Factsheets."
  3. S. Boinski, (1994). "Affiliation Patterns among Male Costa Rican Squirrel Monkeys". Behaviour 130 (3): 191–209. doi:10.1163/156853994X00523.
  4. Lang, "Primate Factsheets."
  5. Cawthon Lang KA. 2006 March 16. Primate Factsheets: Squirrel monkey (Saimiri) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/squirrel_monkey/taxon>. Accessed 2015 August 27.
  6. Cawthon Lang KA. 2006 March 16. Primate Factsheets: Squirrel monkey (Saimiri) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/squirrel_monkey/cons>. Accessed 2015 August 27.