How Social Relationships Influence a Monkey's Choice of Feeding Sites in the Troop of Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata fuscata) on Koshima Islet

Hiroshi IHOBE


When the individual Japanese macaques of the Koshima troop feed on natural food, they usually feed alone. In situations where animals usually feed without other animals, there is a possibility that subordinate animals may avoid feeding sites at which dominant animals are feeding. This paper examines whether social relationships such as kinship or dominance exert any influence on an animal's choice of feeding sites, by analyzing episodes in which an animal approached and climbed into a tree where other animals were. As a result, it was found that social relationships did not influence whether an animal climbed into a tree where other animals were feeding, and that no particular age-sex pair co-fed. Agonistic interactions frequently occurred when the inter-individual distance was less than 1 m. From these findings, the feeding sites were divided into two spaces: (1) a tolerance feeding space, and (2) an intolerance feeding space. It is presumed that animals can feed without entering others' intolerance feeding spaces when food is abundant, as it was in the present study period. Thus social relationships do not influence an animal's choice of feeding sites in such a situation.

Key Words: Feeding behavior; Kinship; Dominance; Macaca fuscata fuscata.

Primates, 30: 17-25 (1989)

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