Overview of Monkey Project
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What is so interesting about capuchins?
Capuchins, a New World primate, are particularly good models for many human traits because they have developed many key characteristics that warrant explanation (e.g.large brain size, social traditions, lethal coalitionary aggression, complex social relationships and social cognition, tool use, food sharing, extensive cooperation) independently of humans and the other great apes.Capuchins are skilled extractive foragers, and social influence guides their adoption of particular foraging strategies.White-faced capuchins are known particularly for their propensity to develop unique, culturally variable bond-testing rituals.
WHICH TREES PROVIDE FRUIT WHEN?
On top of following the monkeys through the forest, the team monitors 135 trees in Los Arboles Tulum.Spider monkeys eat the fruits, flowers and leaves of a huge number of different species, so we selected 4-10 individuals of 16 species that we know are very important in their diet.Our team visits each tree every two weeks throughout the year and notes down whether the tree has fruits and/or flowers.With this information we can see if the amount of food available to the monkeys and the tree species providing food sources to the monkeys change over time.For example, a tree species may fruit in January of 2020 but in 2021 does not provide fruit until March.