Many species of platyrrhine primates are characterised by sex-linked color vision polymorphism. This presents an opportunity to study the biology and ecology of individuals with different phenotypes living in the same group. Several evolutionary processes could maintain polymorphic genes in populations. In this study, we evaluate the hypothesis that foraging niche divergence among monkeys explains the presence of multiple color vision phenotypes. Specifically, we test whether dichromats and trichromats differ in foraging time devoted to cryptic vs brightly colored resources. We did not find any differences in foraging time spent on different food types by dichromatic and trichromatic monkeys in two groups of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) living in a tropical dry forest. We conclude that in so far as these variables are concerned, niche divergence does not likely explain color vision polymorphism in our study population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology