Meeting Abstract

142.1  Monday, Jan. 7  Social life and ecology help sculpt Old World primate faces SANTANA, SE*; LYNCH ALFARO, J; NOONAN, A; ALFARO, ME; University of Washington; University of California Los Angeles; University of California Los Angeles; University of California Los Angeles

Old World primates exhibit almost every possible hue in the spectrum of mammalian coloration, and these colors are often combined to form very complex facial patterns such as those seen in mandrills, guenons and mangabeys. Animal coloration is thought to experience selective pressures related to intra- and interspecific communication, physiology and ecology, but it remains unclear how facial patterns and coloration across Old World primates have been shaped by these factors. We use a phylogenetic comparative approach to explore the relationship among facial traits, sociality and ecology within three major radiations of Old World primates (Cercopithecidae, Hylobatidae and Hominidae). Consistent with the hypothesis that facial patterns function in intra and interspecific communication, we find that species living in larger groups and in higher degrees of sympatry with congeners have evolved more complex patterns of facial coloration, and there have been changes in the rate of facial pattern evolution in some of these clades. Along with social factors, the evolution of facial colors is also strongly linked to ecological features. Species living in tropical, more densely forested and humid habitats have evolved darker faces, but this trend is only observed within the African clades. Along with similar results previously found for New World primates, this study highlights the interplay between behavioral and ecological factors in shaping the diversity of primate faces.