The biomechanical and adaptive significance of variation in craniodental and mandibular morphology in fossil hominins is not always clear, at least in part because of a poor understanding of how different feeding behaviors impact feeding system design (form-function relationships). While laboratory studies suggest that ingestive behaviors produce variable loading, stress, and strain regimes in the cranium and mandible, understanding the relative importance of these behaviors for feeding system design requires data on their use in wild populations. Here we assess the frequencies and durations of manual, ingestive, and masticatory behaviors from more than 1400 observations of feeding behaviors video-recorded in a wild population of bearded capuchins (Sapajus libidinosus) at Fazenda Boa Vista in Piauí, Brazil. Our results suggest that ingestive behaviors in wild Sapajus libidinosus were used for a range of food material properties and typically performed using the anterior dentition. Coupled with previous laboratory work indicating that ingestive behaviors are associated with higher mandibular strain magnitudes than mastication, these results suggest that ingestive behaviors may play an important role in craniodental and mandibular design in capuchins and may be reflected in robust adaptations in fossil hominins.
Biological anthropology, behavioural ecology, biological evolution
Laird MF, Wright B, Rivera AO, Fogaça MD, van Casteren A, Fragaszy DM, Izar P, Visalberghi E, Scott RS, Strait DS, Ross CF, Wright KA. Ingestive Behaviors in Bearded Capuchins (Sapajus libidinosus). Scientific Reports. 2020; 10(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-77797-2.