Body mass and growth rates in a wild primate population
We obtined data on body mass and growth rates for the immature members of two groups of wild baboons in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Data were collected without feeding, trapping, or handling. The data were separated into cross-sectional and longitudinal components, allowing both the examination of body mass-age relationships and the calculation of growth rates for individuals. For animals less than three years old, body mass was wellperedicted from age by a linear model. Differences based on social group membership were small but consistent, and their origins are discussed. We detected no differences in body mass based on sex or on maternal dominance rank. For older juveniles, those three to seven years of age, a better fit was obtained from log of mass than by mass in a linear model. This was also true for the cross-sectional data set over the whole age range (zero to seven years). For older juveniles, samples were too small for quantitative analysis of differences based on sex, rank, or group membership, but trends in the data are indicated. Growth rates derived from repeat measures of body mass for 38 animals are presented and discussed. The growth rate values obtained in this study are consistent with data from cross-sectional studies of other wild baboon populations; these values for wild baboons are consistently one-half to one-third lower than growth rate values for well-provisioned captive baboons and equivalent to captive baboons fed a low-protein diet. Comparisons between primates and other mammals in the primate size range raise questions concerning ecological and behavioral constraints on primate growth rates; some possible mechanisms of constraint are suggested. © 1987 Springer-Verlag.
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