This pack explains how to construct behaviour categories from a species ethogram from videos of primate behaviour. More complicated social behaviours are described in posters that show how two related primate species have quite different non-vocal communication patterns. Part two shows how to use standard behaviour sampling to measure and record behaviour for a research project. Videos suitable for various sampling methods are supplied for class activities.
Research paper to accompany Measuring Behaviour power point
Leonardi, R., Buchanan-Smith, H., Dufour, V., MacDonald, C. & Whiten, A. (2010) Living Together: Behaviour and welfare in single and mixed species groups of capuchin (Cebus apella) and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). American Journal of Primatology 72(1):33-47.
Teacher’s Guide for Measuring Behaviour power point - PDF document (2.3MB)
Measuring Behaviour – Living Links to Curriculum - PDF (0.3MB)
Squirrel Monkey and capuchin comparison - PDF document (0.6MB)
Capuchin Monkey Social Behaviour Guide - PDF poster (1.9MB)
Squirrel Monkey Social Behaviour Guide - PDF poster (1.6MB)
Recording Behaviour guide – PDF (0.2MB)
Recording capuchin behaviour video
This video has been made as a resource for students to practice categorising behaviours from a species ethogram for use in a primate behaviour study. Note, this video does not show all the behaviours that would be in the complete capuchin ethogram however a good proportion of behaviours can be seen. This video shows some selected behaviours and variations of them that will demonstrate the importance of defining and coding behaviours carefully before a study. Watch on vimeo where there are also HD downloads, or watch on YouTube (click 1080p for best quality).
Measuring Behaviour video – Chimpanzee group sequences for teaching ‘group scan sampling’
This is a series of three short (each about two and a half minutes) video sequence ‘sessions’ suitable for teaching behavioural sampling on primate groups. Each sampling session highlights different considerations for designing a sampling proceedure. The first session can be used to highlight difficulties of continuous sampling on animal groups and the importance of considering how to deal with ‘visibility issues’. The second session allows students to trial a form of ‘group scan sampling’ and consider how to deal with ‘rarer behaviours’ that might otherwise be missed. The third session allows students to fine tune their method.
The chimpanzees are in the Budongo Trail exhibit in Edinburgh Zoo and are receiving a feed of sweet potatoes. Watch on vimeo where there are also HD downloads, or watch on YouTube (click 1080p for best quality)
Measuring behaviour video - 15-minute video of capuchin monkey behaviour
This is a 15 minute practice video suitable for students learning the methods used in the study of animal behaviour. There are brown capuchin monkeys and common squirrel monkeys living together in a mixed group. The video is useful for trying out many different sampling techniques on individuals or on groups. However, it is particularly designed for trying out focal individual continuous sampling (the alpha male capuchin ‘Popeye’ is labelled throughout).
There are a number of different foraging, feeding and social behaviours featured, including a brief bit of courtship from one of our adult females (recognisable in this video because they have babies on their backs). The boxes were put into the enclosures by the keepers, they contain straw and some of the monkeys preferred foods. It is recommended that students watch the video first to develop some research questions, and then an ethogram (a list of behaviours) before starting to collect data. Methods for behavioural sampling can be found in:
Altmann J. 1974. Observational study of behavior: sampling methods. Behaviour 49: 227-267 [reprinted in Foundations of Animal Behavior, L.D. Houck & L.C. Drickamer, eds. U Chicago Press, 1996]. PDF here: princeton.edu/~baboon/publications/1974Behav49.pdf
Martin, P. & Bateson. P. (2007) Measuring Behaviour: An Introductory Guide. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
If you use any of our materials, please leave us feedback in the comments section below on how they were used, and how they can be improved. Academic levels and student numbers are particularly useful!