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Degree of terrestrial activity of the elusive sun-tailed monkey (Cercopithecus solatus) in Gabon: comparative study of behavior and postcranial morphometric data.

By Peggy Motsch, Guillaume Le Flohic, Carole Dilger, Alexia Delahaye, Carmela Chateau-Smith and Sébastien Couette

Abstract

15 pagesInternational audienceWe carried out a multidisciplinary study linking behavioral and morphological data from a little-known guenon species, Cercopithecus solatus, endemic to Gabon. Over a period of 9 months, we documented the pattern of stratum use associated with postural and locomotor behavior by direct observation (650 hrs) of a semi-free-ranging breeding colony. We also conducted a morphometric analysis of the humerus and limb proportions of 90 adult specimens from 16 guenon species, including C. solatus. Field observations indicated that C. solatus monkeys spent a third of their time on the ground, similar to semi-terrestrial guenon species. We detected two patterns of stratum use: at ground level, and in trees, at a height of 3–10 m. The monkeys spent more time on the ground during the dry season than the wet season, feeding mainly at ground level, while resting, and social behaviors occurred more frequently in the tree strata. Our study of humerus size and shape, together with the analysis of limb proportions, indicated morphofunctional adaptation of C. solatus to greater terrestriality than previously thought. We therefore characterize C. solatus as a semi-terrestrial guenon, and propose a new hypothesis for the ancestral condition. By combining behavioral and morphological results, we provide new information about the adaptive strategies of the species, and the evolutionary history of guenons, thus contributing to the conservation of the sun-tailed monkey in the wild

Topics: eco-morphology, morphometrics, pattern of stratum use, positional behavior, lifestyle, [SDE.BE]Environmental Sciences/Biodiversity and Ecology
Publisher: 'Wiley'
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1002/ajp.22441
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01208507v1
Provided by: HAL-uB
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