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Behavioral variation Case study of a Malagasy lemur. By Alison F. Richard. Lewisburg Pa. Bucknell University Press 1978. 213 pp. figures tables bibliography index. $22

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BOOK REVIEWS
365
tions in bold letters denoting major chapter
divisions. The bibliographies for each chapter
are comprehensive, and the index includes
both topics and authors.
Although this book promises more than it
achieves, it is stimulating, multi-disciplinary,
and held together by adherence to sociobiological theory. In spite of unevenness in the level of
presentation of materials, I recommend this
volume to scholars interested in the evolution
of human behavior.
BEHAVIORAL
VARIATION:
CASE STUDY
OF A
MALAGASY
LEMUR.By Alison F. Richard.
Lewisburg, Pa: Bucknell University Press,
1978. 213 pp., figures, tables, bibliography,
index. $22.50 (cloth).
from four other sites in Madagascar. There is
also a discussion of demographic data on the
study groups and a summary of five censuses
of Propithecus verreauxi populations taken
over the past eleven years at Berenty, a natural reserve in southern Madagascar. Detailed
comparisons are made between the use of home
ranges in the northern and southern study
sites and how this relates to differences in
feeding and foraging behavior and in daily patterns of activity. Variations in positional behavior of Propithecus uerreauxi are related to the
considerable differences in forest structure
and climate of the two study areas and there is
an excellent discussion of vertical clinging and
leaping as a locomotor adaptation among
primates.
Dr. Richard collected dataon interactions b e
tween individuals within the group, between
groups, and between individuals of different
groups. Comparisons were made both during
and outside of the very brief mating period.
During the mating period, agonistic encounters and “roaming” behavior occurred
among the males resulting in extensive reshuffling of males between groups. Thus, Dr.
Richard sees her study groups as “foraging
groups” and she gives evidence to support the
notion that these groups function with a wider
social network: “clusters of foraging groups together composed larger integrating units, or
neighborhoods” (p. 165).
The similarities and differences found in
groups in the northern and southern study
areas, as well as those between neighboring
groups are discussed in relation to speciesspecificity and to ecological conditions. The final chapter contains an excellent general discussion of the relationship between ecology
and social organization in primates. This chapter includes the only major flaw in the book: approximately two pages, from pp. 188-190, are
repeated on 192-193 and thus some of the discussion is lost and the reader is left a bit confused. The discussion, however, is excellent
and one hopes that this error will be corrected
In Madagascar, Alison Richard is somewhat
of a legend in her own time. Whenever I return
to the island I still hear people relating stories
about this remarkable young lady racing up
and down the center of the island to her two
study sites (100km apart)in her big, blue Land
Rover. Dr. Richards remarkable energy and
ability to collect an enormous amount of data
in the field is reflected in this book, which is a
detailed study of intraspecific variability in
Propithecus uerreauxi in Madagascar.
The two study sites were chosen because
they were extremely different both in climate
and in floral structure and composition. The
northern site is a mixed deciduous and evergreen forest whereas the southern study area
contains a semi-arid, desert-like vegetation
and climate. The northern groups were studied
in July-August 1970 and July 1971 (dry season) and October-December 1970 (wet season).
The southern groups were studied in AprilJ u n e 1971 (dry season) and in January-March
(wet season). Seventy-two hours of focal animal data were collected on each group during
each of these months. The age and sex class of
the focal individual was changed each day and
observations were equally distributed seasonally and between different times of day.
Minute-by-minute data on the subject animal
were collected on ranging behavior, locomotion
and posture, activity, feeding behavior, group
dispersion, vocalizations, and general social
behavior. The methodology section of the book
could easily be used as a guide for any field
study in which the focal animal technique of
data collection can be used. Dr. Richard’s
study is a model of how this sort of research
should be conducted.
The results include detailed census data on
the four study groups and comparative data
L. S. LIEBERMAN
University of Florida
Gainesuille, FL
366
BOOK REVIEWS
in future printings so that we can get the full
benefit of Dr. Richard’s conclusions.
The book is exceptional, as was the planning
and execution of the study. It should be read
by anyone interested in mammalian ecology
and could be used as a handbook for those plan-
ning to do observational fieldwork in the
future.
THE FORAGING
STRATEGY
OF HOWLER
MONKEYS. By Katharine Milton. New York:
Columbia University Press, 1980. 165 pp.,
figures, tables, references, index. $20.00
(cloth).
The second chapter provides general information on the nature and general ecology of
the sample study site. Barro Colorado Island
(BCI)in Panama is not only the location of Milton’s sample but it is also the site for most of
the previous studies of howler monkeys. Thus,
it is understandable that in reading about
howler monkeys in earlier studies it was easy
to come away with the very incorrect impression that if you’ve seen one howler monkey
you’ve seen them all. However, Milton is quick
to point out that in recent years there have
been a growing number of very important
studies of howler monkeys in habitats other
than Barro Colorado Island that indicate the
diversity in howler behavior and habitats.
The third and fourth chapters each provide a
mixture of methods and results of studies of
plant foods in the sample site, their distribution, productivity, and utilization by BCI howlers. Data are provided on seasonal variations
in the relative contribution of fruit, leaves, and
flowers to the howler diets, as well as on the
number of species of flora eaten. Discussion is
provided of the nutritional quality of the diet
in terms of proteinlfiber ratio, the possible role
of secondary compounds that may be toxic to
howlers, and how howlers can deal with possible problems by selectively foraging. Chapters
five and six are devoted to the presentation of
how BCI howlers forage as they travel through
their habitats, the relationship of the travel
pattern to food distribution, and eventually to
a speculative discussion of the inferences that
can be drawn from the patterns.
The final chapter provides a general summary of the BCI sample and tries to fit the
study into the general framework of the many
foraging strategy theories and models.
Milton’s book is a study of some of the qualitative components of the supply side of primate
economics; that is, the characteristics of the
flora of BCI. I t is not the intent of this book to
deal with the expenditure side of primate economics, which is best represented by the activity and social behavior of the howlers. The
The howler monkey has a special place in the
history of primatology because it was the first
species to be studied systematically and for
long periods of time under natural conditions.
Studies of howler monkeys have proven to be
fruitful in the production of a great deal of
data, speculations, and controversies.
Katherine Milton’s book is sure to contribute
to the continuation of this heritage. The
emphasis of the book is on the plant ecology of
a specific howler habitat and how the author
views the strategies employed by howlers to
deal with this particular plant ecology.
The book is divided into seven chapters: 1.
Primates and Plant Foods: Problems and Solutions; 2. The General Research Plan; 3. Potential Food Sources; 4. The Howler Diet; 5 . Ranging; 6. Time Spent Foraging: and 7. Assessing
the Howler Foraging Strategy. The first chapter clearly indicates that this book is about the
nature of vegetation consumed by a sample
population of howler monkeys. The reader is
introduced to some of the aspects of tropical
forest ecology seldom covered in studies of primate ecology. Milton references and discusses
some of the previous models and speculations
proposed to deal with bioeconomicproblems of
nutrient acquisition and processing. A comparison is made between two models of foraging strategy. The first requires anatomical specialization in order that the animal may consume many different kinds of foods that may
be of low nutrient quality. The second requires
behavioral specialization to enable the animal
to forage on items of high nutrient quality. Milton provides a review of the literature comparing the digestive tracts of specialists such as
the colobine monkeys with those of the more
generalized howlers.
R.
w. sUssMAN
Washington University
St. Louis, MO
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