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Supplementary Material for: Behavioural and Glucocorticoid Responses of a Captive Group of Spider Monkeys to Short-Term Variation in Food Presentation

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posted on 29.10.2015, 00:00 by Rangel-Negrín A., Flores-Escobar E., Coyohua-Fuentes A., Chavira-Ramírez D.R., Canales-Espinosa D., Dias P.A.D.
The presentation of food may affect feeding competition and the well-being of captive social species. We hypothesized that feeding competition in a captive group of 5 black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) should increase in response to certain food presentations in terms of size, distribution and quality of food, and that higher feeding competition should lead to an increase in agonism and physiological stress (measured by faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, FGCM) as well as to a decrease in affiliation, proximity among individuals and feeding activity. We used 5 experimental treatments representing different combinations of size, distribution and quality of food. We observed social interactions for 100 h, collected 6,500 proximity and feeding activity records, and gathered 226 faecal samples. When food was clumped, individuals spent less time feeding, and there was also significant individual variation in feeding activity within treatments. FGCM levels were higher when food was clumped. These results are probably linked to an increase in feeding competition when food is concentrated. At least in small groups of spider monkeys, dispersing food in two feeding stations may be sufficient to decrease differences among individuals in priority of access to food resources, hence reducing physiological stress and interindividual differences in feeding activity.