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Title: The ecology and behaviour of the blue monkey, Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni
Author: Aldrich-Blake, F. P. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 5725
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1970
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Serious primate field work, as distinct from the incidental and often anecdotal observations of early travellers, began with Carpenter's pioneering investigations of howler monkeys, red spider monkeys, and gibbons in the forests of Central America and the Far Fast (Carpenter 1934,1935,1940). The subject did not develop further until the early 1950's, with the establishment of long term studies on the Japanese macaque (e. g. Itani 1954, and many subsequent papers) and the work of Washburn, Hall and DeVore on savanna baboons in Africa (summarised in Hall and DeVore 1965, DeVore and Hall 1963). The last decade has seen a great expansion of interest in primate field studies, but research has not been spread evenly throughout the order. Most of the attention has been focused on savanna and open country animals rather than on the more numerous forest species. Some taxa such as the baboon-macaque group and the apes have been investigated fairly thoroughly, while others have been largely neglected, The reasons for the initial concentration of research on terrestrial species are clear. Open country animals are far easier to study than those living in dense vegetation. Once their confidence has been gained they can be followed throughout the day and long periods of concentrated observation are possible. Favourable conditions of observation permit the recognition of individual animals and hence detailed investigation of the relations between members of a troop. In contrast forest primates are difficult even to see, and even more difficult to follow. The return on time, energy, and money expended is correspondingly loner. In addition, much of the earlier work on primates in the 1950's was carried out by people whose prime interest was in the making of inferences to the social evolution of man. It was thought that animals living in a habitat supposedly comparable to that of early man would provide the greatest insight into the problems faced by our simian forbears. Under the circumstances, concentration of research on open country primates was a perfectly reasonable strategy. It has, however, had certain unfortunate consequences. In the early stages of the development of primatology the great diversity of social organisation to be found within the order was not suspected. For instance in 1961 Washburn and DeVore wrote of baboons: 'Although monkeys and apes certainly differ in their behaviour from one species to the next, we believe that the main points ... Mould not be greatly changed by substituting other nonhuman primate species for baboons'. (Washburn and DeVore 1961).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available