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Models play an important role in any mature science because they force us to make explicit our assumptions about how a phenomenon works and allow us to explore the way in which different variables influence a complex biological system. I review the principal kinds of models that could be used to study primate behavior and ecology: linear programming models, systems models, optimality models, stochastic dynamic programming models and agent-based simulation models. Although less use has been made of modelling in primatology than in some other areas of behavioral ecology, there is considerable scope for exploiting the predictive and explanatory power of models in the field.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Primatology

Publication Date





785 - 819