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Colorado State University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management


Common behaviors observed in primates may have important biological and social foundations. This study looks at huddling behavior in several groups of Eulemur rubriventer in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar, in order to compare the functions of huddling in relation to thermoregulation and social bonding. The proportions of time spent huddling as functions of rainfall and ambient temperature were used to explore the possibility of huddling as a means of thermoregulation. A positive relationship between loose huddling behavior and temperature was deemed significant. Data collected on proximity of individuals to each other (nearest neighbor) was able to establish a significant correlation between preferred partners in huddling compared with other activities. It is therefore unclear which function has greater influence on huddling behavior. However, behavioral adjustments in relation to changing conditions may be a very important attribute for the survival of primates and other species as the environment changes.


Animal Sciences


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