Journal Article

Sleep patterns, daytime predation and the evolution of diurnal sleep site selection in lorisiforms


Objectives: Synthesize information on sleep patterns, sleep site use, and daytime predation at sleep sites in lorisiforms of Asia and Africa (ten genera, 36 species), and infer patterns of evolution of sleep site selection. Materials and methods: We conducted fieldwork in twelve African and six Asian countries, collecting data on sleep sites, timing of sleep and predation during daytime. We obtained additional information from literature and through correspondence. Using a phylogenetic approach, we establish ancestral states of sleep site selection in lorisiforms and trace their evolution. Results: The ancestral lorisiform was a fur-clinger and used dense tangles and branches/forks as sleep sites. Use of tree holes and nests as sleep sites emerged ~22 Mya (range 17-26 Mya) in Africa, and use of bamboo emerged ~11 (7-14) Mya in Asia and later in Africa. Nests are commonly used by Galagoides, Paragalago, Galago and Otolemur, tree holes by Galago, Paragalago, Sciurocheirus and Perodicticus, tangles by Nycticebus, Loris, Galagoides, Galago, Euoticus, Otolemur, Perodicticus and Arctocebus, and all but Sciurocheirus and Otolemur additionally sleep on branches/forks. Daytime predation may affect sleep site selection and sleep patterns in some species of Nycticebus, Galago, Galagoides, Otolemur and Perodicticus. Most lorisiforms enter their sleep sites around sunrise and leave around sunset; several are active during twilight or, briefly, during daytime. Conclusion: Variations in sleep behavior, sleep patterns and vulnerability to daytime predation provide a window into the variation that was present in sleep in early primates. Overall, lorisiforms use the daytime for sleeping and no species can be classified as cathemeral or polycyclic.

Attached files


Svensson, Magdalena S.
Nekaris, K.A.I.
Bearder, Simon K.
Bettridge, Caroline
Butynski, Thomas M.
Cheyne, Susan M.
Das, Nabajit
de Jong, Yvonne A.
Luhrs, Averee M.
Luncz, Lydia
Maddock, Simon T.
Perkin, Andrew
Pimley, Elizabeth
Poindexter, Stephanie A.
Reinhardt, Kathleen D.
Spaan, Denise
Stark, Danica J.
Starr, Carly R.
Nijman, Vincent

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-02-16

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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