Abundance: How much food is available in a given area.
Adaptation: A trait with a function.
Affiliative: Nonaggressive social interactions and associations between individuals.
Agonistic: Conflict; aggressive interactions between individuals.
Alarm calling: Vocalizations emitted by social animals in response to danger.
Analogy: A similar trait found in different species that arose independently.
Anogenital: Relating to the anus and genitals.
Breeding season: The time of year when females are receptive to mating.
Callitrichids: The primate family that includes marmosets and tamarins.
Carnivores: Organisms whose diet consists primarily of animal tissue.
Coalition: A temporary alliance between individuals.
Community ecology: The branch of ecology that deals with the relationships and interactions between different organisms that occupy the same habitat.
Comparison: An examination of the similarities and differences between two things, such as two primate species.
Conspecifics: Members of the same species.
Cooperative breeding: When individuals other than the mother and father help raise the offspring.
Crypsis: The ability to avoid detection by other organisms, such as predators.
Cultural tradition: A distinctive pattern of behavior shared by multiple individuals in a social group, which persists over time and is acquired through social learning.
Culture: The transmission of behavior from one generation to the next through observation and imitation.
Decolonize: Understanding and highlighting the theory and research of non-Western individuals and perspectives.
Descendant: A species that comes after the ancestor species.
Direct competition: Competition that involves physical interaction between individuals, such as fighting.
Dispersal: To leave one’s group or area. This may or may not involve joining another group.
Distribution: How food is spread out.
Diurnal: Active during the day.
Dominance hierarchy: The ranked organization of individuals established by the outcome of aggressive-submissive interactions.
Dominant: Being of high rank.
Ecology: The relationship between organisms and their physical surroundings.
Ecotourism: A form of tourism that focuses on nature-based attractions to provide learning opportunities and that uses economically and ecologically sustainable practices.
Ethology: The study of animal behavior.
Fission-fusion: Societies in which group composition is flexible, such as chimpanzee and spider monkey societies. Individuals may break up into smaller feeding groups (fission) and combine into larger groups (fusion).
Fitness: An individual’s ability to survive and reproduce relative to other members of the same species.
Folivores: Organisms whose diet consists primarily of leaves.
Foraging: The act of searching for food.
Frugivores: Organisms whose diet consists primarily of fruit.
Grooming: Picking through the fur of another individual for cleaning or bonding purposes.
Heterospecifics: Members of different species.
Holism: The idea that the parts of a system interconnect and interact to make up the whole.
Home range: The area that a group or individual uses over a given period of time (often over a year).
Homology: A similar trait found in different species because it was inherited from a common ancestor.
Immigration: Movement of an individual into a new group or community.
Indirect competition: Competition that does not involve physical interaction between individuals, such as eating food before another individual arrives at the food site.
Infanticide: The killing of infants of one’s own species.
Innate: Natural; as in behavior that comes naturally.
Insectivores: Organisms whose diets consist primarily of insects.
Interbirth interval: The typical length of time between one birth and the next for a species.
Intersexual selection: The selection for traits that enhance the ability of the members of one sex to attract the attention of the other.
Intrasexual selection: Selection for traits that enhance the ability of members of one sex to compete amongst themselves.
Mating system: A way of describing which male(s) and female(s) mate.
Metabolism: The chemical changes that take place in an organism that turn nutrients into energy.
Mobbing: Cooperatively attacking or harassing a predator.
Monogamy: A mating system in which one male mates with one female.
Multi-male, multi-female: A group that consists of multiple adult males, multiple adult females, and their dependent offspring.
Multi-male, single-female: A group that consists of two or more adult males, one breeding female, their dependent offspring, and non-breeding females.
Mutualistic/mutualism: When different species work together, with each benefiting from the interaction.
Niche: The role of a species in its environment; how it meets its needs for food, shelter, etc.
Nocturnal: Active at night.
Olfactory communication: Conveying information through scent.
Omnivores: Organisms whose diet consists of plant and animal matter.
Pair bond: A strong, long-term relationship between two individuals.
Parasite: An organism that lives in or on another organism.
Parental investment: Any time or energy a parent devotes to the current offspring that enhances its survival (and eventual reproductive success) at the expense of the parent’s ability to invest in the next offspring.
Philopatric: Remaining in the group of one’s birth.
Piloerection: Raising one’s hair or fur in an effort to look bigger.
Polyandry: A mating system in which multiple males mate with a single breeding female.
Polygamy: A mating system in which multiple males mate with multiple females.
Polygyny: A mating system in which one male mates with multiple females.
Polyspecific association: An association between two or more different species that involves behavioral changes in at least one of them to maintain the association.
Primate community: All primate species that occur in an area.
Primatologist: A scientist who studies primate behavior and/or ecology.
Primatology: The scientific field that studies primate behavior and/or ecology.
Ranging behavior: Refers to the way in which animals move about their environment.
Receptive: A term used to describe females who are ready for sexual reproduction (i.e., not pregnant or nursing).
Reproductive success: An individual’s genetic contribution to future generations, often measured through the number of offspring produced.
Reproductive suppression: The prevention or inhibition of reproduction of healthy adults.
Resident male: Term that describes the male who lives with a group of females.
Seed dispersal: The process by which seeds move away from the plant that produced them in preparation for germination and becoming a new plant.
Semantic communication: The systematic use of signals to refer to objects in the environment.
Sexual dimorphism: When males and females of a species have different morphological traits.
Sexual selection: The selection for traits that increase mating success. This occurs via intersexual selection and intrasexual selection.
Sexual swelling: Area of the hindquarters that change in size, shape, and often color over the course of a female’s reproductive cycle, reaching maximum size at ovulation. Occurs in many primate species that live in Africa and Asia.
Sexually monomorphic: When males and females of a species have similar morphological traits.
Single-male, multi-female: A group that consists of one adult male, multiple adult female, and their dependent offspring.
Single-male, single-female: A group that consists of one adult male, one adult female, and their dependent offspring.
Social learning: The idea that new behaviors can be acquired by observing and imitating others.
Social system: A way of describing the typical number of males and females of all age classes that live together.
Social transmission: Transfer of something from one individual to another; this can include parasites, information, or cultural traditions.
Sociality: The tendency to form social groups.
Solitary: Living alone.
Species recognition: The ability to differentiate conspecifics from members of other species.
Subordinate: Being of low rank.
Tactile communication: Conveying information through touch.
Territory: A home range whose boundary is defended from intrusion by conspecifics.
Vertebrates: The group of animals characterized by an internal spinal column or backbone. This includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Vigilance: Watchful behavior used to detect potential danger, usually in the form of predators or potential competitors.
Visual communication: Conveying information through signals that can be seen.
Vocal communication: Conveying information through signals that can be heard.