Peter Kappeler

Peter Kappeler
German Primate Center | DPZ · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit

Prof. Dr.

About

489
Publications
151,506
Reads
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17,325
Citations
Citations since 2016
200 Research Items
9277 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000
Introduction
Peter Kappeler currently works at the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, German Primate Center.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Lethbridge
January 2010 - present
January 2010 - present
University of Cambridge

Publications

Publications (489)
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral discrimination of kin is a key process structuring social relationships in animals. In this study, we provide evidence for discrimination towards non-kin by third-parties through a mechanism of phenotype matching. In mandrills, we recently demonstrated increased facial resemblance among paternally related juvenile and adult females indic...
Article
Inhibitory control requires an individual to suppress impulsive actions in favour of more appropriate behaviours to gain a delayed reward. It plays an important role in activities such as foraging and initiating mating, but high within-species variation suggests that some individuals have greater inhibitory control than others. A standard index of...
Article
Full-text available
Converging lines of inquiry from across the social and biological sciences target the adult sex ratio (ASR; the proportion of males in the adult population) as a fundamental population-level determinant of behavior. The ASR, which indicates the relative number of potential mates to competitors in a population, frames the selective arena for competi...
Article
Full-text available
In species with separate sexes, females and males often differ in their morphology, physiology and behaviour. Such sex-specific traits are functionally linked to variation in reproductive competition, mate choice and parental care, which have all been linked to sex roles. At the 150th anniversary of Darwin's theory on sexual selection, the question...
Article
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Among mammals, the order Primates is exceptional in having a high taxonomic richness in which the taxa are arboreal, semiterrestrial, or terrestrial. Although habitual terrestrial-ity is pervasive among the apes and African and Asian monkeys (catarrhines), it is largely absent among monkeys of the Americas (platyrrhines), as well as galagos, lemurs...
Article
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Hibernation, a hypometabolic state associated with low body temperature and reduced metabolic and activity rates, represents one adaptation to harsh seasonal environmental conditions. As a consequence of hypometabolism, energetically costly neuronal processes also ought to be reduced. Since active neuronal pathways are prerequisites for learning an...
Article
Full-text available
Among mammals, the order Primates is exceptional in having a high taxonomic richness in which the taxa are arboreal, semiterrestrial, or terrestrial. Although habitual terrestriality is pervasive among the apes and African and Asian monkeys (catarrhines), it is largely absent among monkeys of the Americas (platyrrhines), as well as galagos, lemurs,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Quantifying animal movements is necessary for answering a wide array of research questions in ecology and conservation biology. Consequently, ecologists have made considerable efforts to identify the best way to estimate an animal’s home range, and many methods of estimating home ranges have arisen over the past half century. Most of these methods...
Article
The endemic lemurs of Madagascar (Lemuriformes: Primates) exhibit great social and communicative diversity. Given their independent evolutionary history, lemurs provide an excellent opportunity to identify fundamental principles in the coevolution of social and communicative traits. We conducted comparative phylogenetic analyses to examine patterns...
Article
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How social and ecological factors are associated with variation in dominance style across species of animals has been studied frequently, but the underlying processes are often not addressed. Theoretical research indicates that stronger spatial cohesion among individuals in a group causes a higher frequency of fighting and, thus, through the self-r...
Article
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Animal vocalizations may provide information about a sender’s condition or motivational state and, hence, mediate social interactions. In this study, we examined whether vocalizations of gray mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus ) emitted in aggressive contexts (grunts, tsaks) co-vary with physical condition, which would underly and indicate honest si...
Article
Full-text available
The causes and consequences of being in a particular dominance position have been illuminated in various animal species, and new methods to assess dominance relationships and to describe the structure of dominance hierarchies have been developed in recent years. Most research has focused on same-sex relationships, however, so that intersexual domin...
Article
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We highlight current problems, challenges and dilemmas of conservation action in Madagascar, which is one of the poorest countries, but also the hottest global biodiversity hotspot. Consequences of climate change and the COVID‐19 pandemic exacerbate an already dramatic situation for many protected areas that are under pressure from illegal logging...
Article
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The relationship between age and reproductive performance is highly variable across species. Humans and some cetaceans exhibit an extreme form of reproductive senescence in that female reproduction ceases years or even decades before average life expectancy is reached. However, neither the existence of reproductive senescence in some taxa nor its a...
Article
In animal societies, control over resources and reproduction is often biased towards one sex. Yet, the ecological and evolutionary underpinnings of male–female power asymmetries remain poorly understood. We outline a comprehensive framework to quantify and predict the dynamics of male–female power relationships within and across mammalian species....
Preprint
Full-text available
Behavioral discrimination of kin is a key process structuring social relationships in animals. In this study, we provide a first example of discrimination towards non-kin by third-parties through a mechanism of phenotype matching. In mandrills, we recently demonstrated increased facial resemblance among paternally-related juvenile and adult females...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Macroecological studies that require habitat suitability data for many species often derive this information from expert opinion. However, expert-based information is inherently subjective and thus prone to errors. The increasing availability of GPS tracking data offers opportunities to evaluate and supplement expert-based information with de...
Article
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It has long been recognized that the patterning of social interactions within a group can give rise to a social structure that holds very different places for different individuals. Such within-group variation in sociality correlates with fitness proxies in fish, birds, and mammals. Broader integration of this research has been hampered by the lack...
Article
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The extant primates of Madagascar (Lemuriformes) represent the endpoints of an adaptive radiation following a single colonization event more than 50 million years ago. They have since evolved a diversity of life history traits, ecological adaptations and social systems that rivals that of all other living primates combined. Their social systems are...
Article
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How the presence of conspecifics affects scent mark deposition remains an understudied aspect of olfactory communication, even though scent marking occurs in different social contexts. Sex differences in scent-marking behaviour are common, and sex-specific effects of the audience could therefore be expected. We investigated sex differences in intra...
Preprint
Kin discrimination is a key process structuring social relationships in animals. We show how it may be generalized to entail discrimination towards non-kin, and provide a first example of this process in a primate. In mandrills, we recently demonstrated increased facial resemblance among paternally-related females indicating adaptive opportunities...
Article
Full-text available
Background Various aspects of sociality can benefit individuals’ health. The host social environment and its relative contributions to the host-microbiome relationship have emerged as key topics in microbial research. Yet, understanding the mechanisms that lead to structural variation in the social microbiome, the collective microbial metacommunity...
Article
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Investigating factors influencing infant physical and social development is important to elucidate primate adaptations and life history evolution. Infant sifakas exhibit a puzzling mismatch between dental precocity and relatively slow postnatal growth, but only anecdotal reports of infant development are available for a comparative appraisal of the...
Article
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Cognitive abilities covary with both social and ecological factors across animal taxa. Ecological generalists have been attributed with enhanced cognitive abilities, but which specific ecological factors may have shaped the evolution of which specific cognitive abilities remains poorly known. To explore these links, we applied a cognitive test batt...
Article
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Maternal effects mediated by nutrients or specific endocrine states of the mother can affect infant development. Specifically, pre- and postnatal maternal stress associated with elevated glucocorticoid (GC) output is known to influence the phenotype of the offspring, including their physical and behavioral development. These developmental processes...
Preprint
Full-text available
Audience effects, i.e. changes in behaviour caused by the presence of conspecifics, have rarely been studied in the context of olfactory communication, even though they may provide important insights into the functions of olfactory signals. Functional sex differences in scent-marking behaviours are common and influenced by the social system. To dat...
Article
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Understanding species' responses to climate change is crucial for the mitigation of its effects. Few studies, however, have examined how climate change impacts timing in reptile life cycles, or how it may interact with other life history traits. Here, we explore associations between climatic variation, reptile phenology, and juvenile growth. We use...
Article
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Animal communication has long been thought to be subject to pressures and constraints associated with social relationships. However, our understanding of how the nature and quality of social relationships relates to the use and evolution of communication is limited by a lack of directly comparable methods across multiple levels of analysis. Here, w...
Article
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Social influence is distributed unequally between males and females in many mammalian societies. In human societies, gender inequality is particularly evident in access to leadership positions. Understanding why women historically and cross-culturally have tended to be under-represented as leaders within human groups and organizations represents a...
Article
Full-text available
Is it possible to slow the rate of ageing, or do biological constraints limit its plasticity? We test the ‘invariant rate of ageing’ hypothesis, which posits that the rate of ageing is relatively fixed within species, with a collection of 39 human and nonhuman primate datasets across seven genera. We first recapitulate, in nonhuman primates, the hi...
Article
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Ecological communities are structured by interactions between coexisting species that mutually influence their distribution and abundance. Ecologically similar species are expected to exclude one another from suitable habitat, so the coexistence of two mouse lemur species in an assemblage of several closely related cheirogaleid primates in the cent...
Presentation
Full-text available
A framework for studying social systems
Article
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Forest edges change micro-environmental conditions, thereby affecting the ecology of many forest-dwelling species. Understanding such edge effects is particularly important for Malagasy primates because many of them live in highly fragmented forests today. The aim of our study was to assess the influence of forest edge effects on activity budgets,...
Article
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Social learning is widespread in the animal kingdom, but individuals can differ in how they acquire and use social information. Personality traits, such as neophobia, may, for example, promote individual learning strategies. Here, we contribute comparative data on social learning strategies in carnivorans by examining whether narrow-striped mongoos...
Chapter
Schon die ersten Naturforscher, die Madagaskar besuchten, erkannten die Besonderheit dieser „Schatzinsel der Natur“. Auf Schritt und Tritt begegneten sie unbekannten Tieren, die so exotisch waren, dass sie sie mit Worten aus ihrer Welt nicht zu benennen wussten. Die Madagassen hatten sie wohl aus demselben Grund oft einfach nach den Lauten benannt,...
Chapter
Behavioural biology is a discipline of biology that uses scientific methods to study the behaviour of animals and humans. But what exactly is “behaviour“? Everyone probably has a spontaneous, concrete, and very personal idea about it. A barking dog, a singing bird, a fluttering butterfly - many people most likely have these vivid examples in mind w...
Chapter
The members of a species are distributed in a characteristic manner in space and time; they mate with different numbers of members of the opposite sex, differ in parental care behaviour, and their social interactions are not randomly distributed among conspecifics. Analyses of social systems deal with the causes, patterns, mechanisms and consequenc...
Chapter
Although modern sex roles acknowledge the fact that males and females both compete for and chose mates, there are sound theoretical reasons for expecting massive sex differences in these behavioural domains. Because of the resulting sex bias in the empirical evidence, this overview of the mechanisms and consequences of intrasexual selection focuses...
Chapter
Every animal must feed regularly to secure the energetic basis for growth, maintenance of basic functions and reproduction. Therefore, the search, selection, defence and intake of food has an important function in daily survival. These behaviours usually take place in a particular habitat that is suitable for a given species. In addition to abiotic...
Chapter
There are a number of other forms of reproduction in the animal kingdom besides the gonochoristic reproduction familiar to us. These variants can be described as life history characteristics that generate certain reproductive strategies. The theory of sexual selection provides an overarching framework for analysing these and other adaptations relat...
Chapter
During their individual development, newly hatched or new-born animals begin to interact directly with their environment, but their development is not limited to the early postnatal phase. Fitness-relevant behaviours should be functionally in place as soon as possible, i.e., they are under strong genetic control. Other behaviours are species-specif...
Chapter
The behaviour and physiology of an organism are tightly integrated so as to keep an animal in a regulated state of equilibrium. A regulated energy and water balance, or thermoregulation, is an important aspect of well-being and survival that can take up a qualitatively large proportion of an animal’s activity budget. However, the underlying behavio...
Chapter
How can the continuous stream of movements, events and interactions that we can operationalize as behaviour be described and quantified? To do this, it is first necessary to clearly define what can be measured with which methods. To provide a better impression of the complexity, but also the fascination of behavioural research, I will discuss some...
Chapter
Parental care is defined as any activity by a parent that contributes to increasing the fitness of its offspring (Clutton-Brock 1991). It can begin before birth with the building of a nest or den for the eggs or offspring. During reproduction, mothers can positively influence their developmental and survival chances by producing eggs that are as la...
Chapter
Eating and being eaten are closely related. Since many animals live entirely or partially on animal matter, the feeding behaviour of these predators has drastic negative consequences for the fitness of their prey. Predation and its avoidance are therefore central aspects of all animals’ survival strategies. The evolutionary arms race resulting from...
Chapter
In contrast to males, females cannot increase their reproductive success by engaging in additional matings. Instead, they can improve the quality and survival chances of their offspring through increased maternal care and the choice of an appropriate mate. When choosing a mate, members of closely related species and conspecific kin should be avoide...
Chapter
The species-specific endowment of various sensory organs enables animals to perceive changes in their environment and respond accordingly. The vast majority of animals are exposed to temporal fluctuations in aspects of their environment that are relevant for survival. A large part of these fluctuations is highly predictable, such as the alteration...
Chapter
The individuals of a species do not interact with their conspecifics randomly. These interactions involve the exchange of actions and/or signals. The exchange of signals is called communication and is an important contribution to the establishment and maintenance of social relationships, but also to the general exchange of information among individ...
Chapter
Modern evolutionary theory provides a theoretical framework for functional analyses of animal behaviour. In order to investigate the adaptive value of individual behaviour patterns, it is necessary to operationalize fitness and to characterize the evolutionary mechanisms that influence it. In terms of the most important fitness components - surviva...
Article
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Behavioural flexibility allows animals to adapt their behaviour to changing situations in their current habitat. Flexibility is involved in behaviours comprising decision‐making in their ecological or social environment. However, the ability to behave flexibly can co‐vary with an individual's personality and its level of inhibitory control, so that...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in cognitive abilities is thought to be linked to variation in brain size, which varies across species with either social factors (Social Intelligence Hypothesis) or ecological challenges (Ecological Intelligence Hypothesis). However, the nature of the ecological processes invoked by the Ecological Intelligence Hypothesis, like adaptation...
Article
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Background Life history theory predicts that during the lifespan of an organism, resources are allocated to either growth, somatic maintenance or reproduction. Resource allocation trade-offs determine the evolution and ecology of different life history strategies and define an organisms’ position along a fast–slow continuum in interspecific compari...
Preprint
Full-text available
Is it possible to slow the rate of aging, or do biological constraints limit its plasticity? We test this ‘invariant rate of aging’ hypothesis with an unprecedented collection of 39 human and nonhuman primate datasets across seven genera. We first recapitulate, in nonhuman primates, the highly regular relationship between life expectancy and lifesp...
Article
Pheromones mediate a wide range of functions across the animal kingdom [ 1 • Wyatt T.D. Pheromones. Curr. Biol. 2017; 27 : R739-R743 • Abstract • Full Text • Full Text PDF • PubMed • Scopus (17) • Google Scholar ], and such chemosensory communication is especially widespread among mammals [ 2 • Brennan P.A. • Keverne E.B. Something in the air...
Article
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Gastrointestinal helminth-microbiota associations are shaped by various ecological processes. The effect of the ecological context of the host on the bacterial microbiome and gastrointestinal helminth parasites has been tested in a number of ecosystems and experimentally. This study takes the important step to look at these two groups at the same t...
Article
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Primates have relatively larger brains than other mammals even though brain tissue is energetically costly. Comparative studies of variation in cognitive skills allow testing of evolutionary hypotheses addressing socioecological factors driving the evolution of primate brain size. However, data on cognitive abilities for meaningful interspecific co...
Chapter
Im Unterschied zu Männchen können Weibchen ihren Fortpflanzungserfolg nicht durch zusätzliche Verpaarungen erhöhen. Stattdessen können sie die Qualität und Überlebenschancen ihrer Nachkommen durch mütterliche Fürsorge und die Wahl eines entsprechenden Partners verbessern. Bei der Partnerwahl sollten Mitglieder nahverwandter Arten und Verwandte gemi...
Chapter
Die artspezifische Ausstattung mit unterschiedlichen Sinnesorganen ermöglicht es Tieren, Änderungen ihrer Umwelt wahrzunehmen und entsprechend darauf zu reagieren. Die allermeisten Tiere sind zeitlichen Schwankungen überlebensrelevanter Aspekte ihrer Umwelt ausgesetzt. Ein Großteil dieser Schwankungen ist gut vorhersagbar, wie der Wechsel zwischen...
Chapter
Elterliche Fürsorge (parental care) ist definiert als jegliche Aktivität eines Elters, die zur Erhöhung der Fitness seiner Nachkommen beiträgt (Clutton-Brock 1991). Diese Fürsorge kann schon vor der Geburt beginnen, indem ein Nest oder eine Höhle angelegt wird, wo die Eier oder Nachkommen heranwachsen. Bei der Fortpflanzung können Mütter durch die...
Chapter
Die Individuen einer Art interagieren nicht zufällig mit ihren Artgenossen. Diese Interaktionen beinhalten den Austausch von Aktionen und oder Signalen. Der Austausch von Signalen wird als Kommunikation bezeichnet und stellt einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Etablierung von sozialen Beziehungen, aber auch zum allgemeinen Austausch von Information zwische...
Chapter
Obwohl moderne Geschlechterrollen berücksichtigen, dass die Mitglieder beider Geschlechter um Fortpflanzungspartner konkurrieren und diese auswählen, gibt es gute theoretische Gründe und zahlreiche empirische Belege für massive Geschlechtsunterschiede in diesen Bereichen. Daher fokussiert diese Übersicht über Mechanismen und Konsequenzen der intras...
Chapter
Die Mitglieder einer Art sind in charakteristischer Art und Weise in Raum und Zeit verteilt; sie verpaaren sich mit unterschiedlich vielen Mitgliedern des anderen Geschlechts, unterscheiden sich in ihrem elterlichen Fürsorgeverhalten und soziale Interaktionen sind nicht zufällig über Artgenossen verteilt. Analysen von Sozialsystemen beschäftigen si...
Article
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Threats to biodiversity are well documented. However, to effectively conserve species and their habitats, we need to know which conservation interventions do (or do not) work. Evidence-based conservation evaluates interventions within a scientific framework. The Conservation Evidence project has summarized thousands of studies testing conservation...
Article
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Although the invention and widespread use of artificial light is clearly one of the most important human technological advances, the transformation of nightscapes is increasingly recognized as having adverse effects. Night lighting may have serious physiological consequences for humans, ecological and evolutionary implications for animal and plant...
Article
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Mouse lemurs (Microcebus) are a radiation of morphologically cryptic primates distributed throughout Madagascar for which the number of recognized species has exploded in the past two decades. This taxonomic revision has prompted understandable concern that there has been substantial oversplitting in the mouse lemur clade. Here, we investigate mous...
Technical Report
Full-text available
IUCN Red List Assessment
Article
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Accurately quantifying species’ area requirements is a prerequisite for effective area‐based conservation. This typically involves collecting tracking data on species of interest and then conducting home‐range analyses. Problematically, autocorrelation in tracking data can result in space needs being severely underestimated. Based on previous work,...