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Lecture 9

ANTHR101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Alloparenting, Railways Act 1921

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Francois Larose

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Taken from lectures 9 and 10, placed together to make it more cohesive
Grouping patterns
Between group competition for food
Can search as a group for food (wider search party means greater chance of finding
Can scare off other groups from a potential food source
Resource defense
Can scare off others from food or mates
Mating partners
Don’t have to search for a mate as there is one in your group
Safety in numbers
Increased security against predators
Can more easily scare them off
Can have lookouts while others feed
Less likely for a single individual to be targeted
If they were on their own they’d definitely be targeted but in a group there’s other
options so they might not be
All members can help with raising a child (or it’s at least not just the mother)
How big should groups be?
Optimal foraging strategy
An area can only support so many individuals
Diet controls how much food is available
The more individuals there are the larger an area needs to be to support them
Competition for mating
New members might not be welcome in a group due to mating strategies
Eg. Silverback gorillas will drive of other males so only he gets to mate with his females
Socioecology and group structure
The relationship between ecological factors and behavioural patterns
For example
Nocturnal primates tend to be in smaller groups than diurnal primates
Less noise is made, reducing the risk of being noticed by predators
Easier to find shelter during the day
Arboreal species tend to be in smaller groups than terrestrial primates
Branches that can support weight might not be common enough to form large
Food is more dispersed
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