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The emergence of the genus Homo is widely linked to the colonization of 'new' highly seasonal savannah habitats. However, until recently, our understanding of the possible impact of seasonality on this shift has been limited because we have little general knowledge of how seasonality affects the lives of primates. This 2005 book documents the extent of seasonality in food abundance in tropical woody vegetation, and then presents systematic analyses of the impact of seasonality in food supply on the behavioural ecology of non-human primates. Syntheses in this volume then produce broad generalizations concerning the impact of seasonality on behavioural ecology and reproduction in both human and non-human primates, and apply these insights to primate and human evolution. Written for graduate students and researchers in biological anthropology and behavioural ecology, this is an absorbing account of how seasonality may have affected an important episode in our own evolution.
Part I. Introduction
1. Seasonality in primate ecology, reproduction, and life history: an overview Carel P. van Schaik and Diane K. Brockman
Part II. Seasonal Habitats
2. Tropical climates and phenology: a primate perspective Carel P. van Schaik and Kristina Pfannes
Part III. Seasonality and Behavioural Ecology
3. The influence of seasonality on primate diet and ranging Claire Hemingway and Nora Bynum
4. Seasonality in predation risk: varying activity periods in lemurs and other primates Michele Rasmussen
5. Physiological adaptations to seasonality in nocturnal primates Jutta Schmid and Peter Kappeler
6. Seasonality and long-term change in a savannah environment Susan C. Alberts, Jeanne Altmann, Julie A Hollister-Smith, Raphael S. Mututua, Serah N. Sayialel, Philip M. Muruthi and Kinyua Warutere 7. Day length seasonality and the thermal environment Russell Hill
8. Seasonality in hunting by nonhuman primates John C. Mitani and David P. Watts
9. Human hunting seasonality Rebecca Bliege-Bird and Douglas W. Bird
Part IV. Seasonality, Reproduction, and Social Organisation
10. Seasonality and reproductive function Diane K. Brockman and Carel P. van Schaik
11. Seasonality of primate births in relation to climate Charles Janson and Jennifer Verdolin
12. Energetic responses to food availability in the great apes: implications for hominin evolution Cheryl D. Knott
13. Human birth seasonality Peter T. Ellison, Claudia R. Valeggia and Diana S. Sherry
14. Seasonality, social organisation, and sexual dimorphism in primates J. Michael Plavcan, Carel P. van Schaik and W. Scott McGraw
Part V. Seasonality and Community Ecology
15. Seasonality and primate communities Carel P. van Schaik, Richard Madden and J#rg U. Ganzhorn
16. Primate diversity and environmental seasonality in historical perspective Nina G. Jablonski
Part VI. Seasonality and Human Evolution
17. Tropical and temperate seasonal influences on human evolution Kaye Reed and Jennifer L. Fish
18. Orbital controls on seasonality John D. Kingston
19. What do studies of primate seasonality tell us about human evolution? Diane K. Brockman.
Diane K. Brockman is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, having moved recently from Duke University, NC. Her research concerns environmental mechanisms influencing reproduction, development and life history in human and non-human primates. Current studies involve the hormonal basis of seasonal reproduction, female mate competition, male life history patterns and aging, and the metabolic costs of reproduction in females.
Carel P. van Schaik is now Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, having also moved recently from Duke University. He studies behavioral ecology and the social evolution of primates, and is also interested in the conservation of tropical forests. His previous books include the edited works Infanticide by Males and its Implications (with Charles Janson; 2000) and Sexual Selection in Primates (with Peter Kappeler; 2004).
"In this well structured and detailed book Brockman and Schaik discuss the major role that seasonality plays in influencing the ecology and behaviour of primate species. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an existing interest in primatology or evolutionary anthropology. All in all it offers an interesting and thought-provoking read."
– Hannah E. Parathian, University of Oxford