Influence of Diet on Activity Patterns of Nonhuman Primates
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Primate activity patterns and diet have been researched separately in the wild; this project aims to examine the relationship between the two by comparing species in captive populations. The zoo setting allows for the control of many variables such as climate, exposure to humans, and the absence of predators. Observational studies were conducted in hopes of understanding the relationship of differences between the activity patterns of frugivores and folivores. It was predicted that folivorous species would be less active than frugivorous species with regard to three activity categories: scale (micro or macro), intensity (vigorous or calm), and sociality (social or solitary). Focal-follows and group-scans were conducted to record behaviors of different species at the Oregon Zoo, including two folivorous and seven frugivorous species. The results from the group-scans of these species were compared to identify a relationship between diet and activity patterns. I found that folivores performed a larger percent of behaviors that were calm and micro than frugivores. There was no correlation between sociality and diet type. The results support the hypothesis originally predicted. This study does not imply that diet dictates behavior, rather, this information can help to provide zoos with plans for providing proper enrichment for each species. Post hoc analysis led to the comparison of enrichment with the activity categories and found that vigorous and macro behaviors were observed significantly more when food or other objects were provided.