Social Behavior

The red uakari has a promiscuous mating system (Fontaine, 1981). Allogrooming is an important group activity (Fontaine, 1981). This species has a multimale-multifemale social organization (Barnett and Brandon-Jones, 1997). The social organization of this species comprises three levels the foraging unit (up to 10 individuals), the group (25 to 50 individuals), and the troop (50 to 100 individuals), which are made up of several groups (Heymann, 1992). Red uakaris form polyspecific associations with woolly monkeys, Lagothrix lagotricha, white-fronted capuchins, Cebus albifrons, and common squirrel monkeys, Saimiri sciureus, (Leonard and Bennett, 1996). Cacajao calvus ucayalii was found to be asscoiated with Lagothrix lagotricha more than any other primate species (Aquino, 1998). Cacajao calvus ucayalii also forms mixed-species groups with Pithecia monachus and Saimiri boliviensis (Aquino, 1989). This species will respond to alarm calls given by common squirrel monkeys (Fontaine, 1981). Leonard and Bennett (1996) found that out of 26 polyspecific associations red uakaris had with other primates, that 22 were with woolly monkeys. Since the uakari has a larger home range as compared to other species, like the woolly monkey, they might benefit from the polyspecific association by being able to shorten their food searches (Leonard and Bennett, 1996). Also forming polyspecific associations may help all species involved in protection from avian predators, such as the harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja, (Leonard and Bennett, 1996). The young have also been found to play with the young of Saimiri sciureus (Fontaine, 1981). Dominance in maintained in this species by noisy fighting displays, and most fights involve adult females (Fontaine, 1981). However fights do not play an important role in the life history of this species, moreover this species practices mutual avoidance that is most often initiated by adult males (Fontaine, 1981).

Older infants and juveniles are the individuals that engage the most in play behavior (Fontaine, 1981). Fontaine (1981) defined three categories of play found in the red uakari : exploratory-manipulatory activity; intense, nondirectional locomotion; and social play (Fontaine, 1981). Infants engage in exploratory-manipulatory activity and nondirectional locomotion (Fontaine, 1981). Amongst social play in adults there are three main activities: wrestling, mock biting, and grappling (Fontaine, 1981). In juveniles and older infants, chasing is the most important form of social play (Fontaine, 1981). Infants try to engage in social play with all adults, but males tend to reciprocate at a higher frequency than females (Cox et al., 1987).

Last Updated: May 8, 2007.
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