Food transfers to young and mates in wild owl monkeys (aotus azarai)

Wolovich CK, Perea-Rodriguez JP and Fernandez-Duque E (2008). Food transfers to young and mates in wild owl monkeys (aotus azarai). American Journal of Primatology 70(3): 211-221
Food transfers to young and mates in wild owl monkeys (Aotus azarai)
Christy Kaitlyn Wolovich 1,2,  Juan Pablo Perea-Rodriguez 2 , Eduardo Fernandez-Duque 3,4

1Department of Biology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
2DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests, Inc., Miami, Florida
3Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral, Conicet, Argentina
email: Christy Kaitlyn Wolovich (

*Correspondence to Christy Kaitlyn Wolovich, Department of Biology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837

Funded by:
 National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
 Wenner-Gren Foundation
 L.S.B. Leakey Foundation
 National Geographic Society and the Zoological Society of San Diego

food sharing • mate-guarding • monogamy • pair bond • paternal care

Accounts of food sharing within natural populations of mammals have focused on transfers to offspring or transfers of food items that are difficult to obtain (such as meat). Five groups of socially monogamous owl monkeys (Aotus azarai azarai) in Formosa, Argentina were observed during 107 hr to determine the pattern of food sharing under natural conditions. There were a total of 42 social interactions involving food with food being transferred on eight occasions. Adult males transferred food to young more often than did adult females. All types of food that were readily obtained and eaten by all age/sex classes were transferred to young. Adult females also transferred food to their mates. This type of food sharing is very rare among animals and may have social benefits specific to monogamous mammals with paternal care. Am. J. Primatol. 70:211-221, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Received: 1 December 2006; Revised: 12 August 2007; Accepted: 14 August 2007

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1002/ajp.20477  About DOI

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