Drinking from arboreal water sources by mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata Gray).
Despite occasional trips to the ground and feeding in trees whose canopies touched the river, mantled howling monkeys were never seen to drink from any ground water. Drinking from arboreal cisterns was observed, but only during the wet season (meteorologically the less stressful season but phenologically the more stressful season). The lack of sufficient new leaves during the wet season forced the howlers to ingest more mature leaves which contained significantly less water. To compensate for the lowered amount of water in their food, the monkeys utilized arboreal water cisterns. The cisterns dried up during the dry season, but the howlers maintained their water balance by altering their time of actiivity and selecting a diet comprised largely of succulent new leaves. The effect of plant-produced secondary compounds on drinking also was discussed.
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Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Anthropology
Primate ecology and social organization: the interaction between feeding patterns and social structure; evolutionary development of optimal group size and composition; factors affecting short and long-term demographic changes in stable groups; primate use of regenerating forests.