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- 2022 - Parent Proximity amongst Alouatta palliata - Poster Presentation
- The interactions between mothers and their offspring are vital for successful child-rearing. Due to the energy-intensive nature of reproducing and child-rearing, a mother Alouatta palliata, or mantled howler monkey, will protect the health and safety of her offspring. However, within three years, the offspring must obtain the skills to survive independently. Female A. palliata experiences a gestational period of approximately 180 days. Every two years, females give birth to one child. An infant A. palliata will nurse for the first 18 months of its life. I hypothesize that mothers will maintain closer proximity to infants than to juveniles. My research will be conducted in May 2022 at the La Selva Research Station in Costa Rica’s north-eastern rainforests. The primary and secondary forests there create an ideal habitat for A. palliata. The adult A. palliata are primates weighing 4 to 5 kg and covered in black fur. Infants will be covered in gold or silver fur until their fur darkens when they reach sexual maturity at three years old. Data will be collected using instantaneous focal sampling in 10-second intervals that will alternate between mothers and offspring. I will distinguish between infant A. palliata, as those clinging to their mothers, and juveniles as those who nurse but transport themselves predominantly independently. A. palliata mothers will be distinguished by the act of nursing their offspring. I will study the methods applied by the mother, A. palliata, in the rearing of her offspring. I will record their proximity to one another and to others, distinguishing between physical contact, within 1 meter, 3 meters, or a distance greater than 3 meters. I will record their behaviors such as feeding, resting, traveling, and grooming. This data will be compared to data collected on other Alouatta species.
- monkeys, Animal behavior, Animal feeding, data analysis, analysis, Primates, Mothers & children, Tropical forests, Autonomy, student projects
- Local Identifiers
- 2022 - Infant Proximities to Mothers: Comparing Cebus imitator and Alouatta palliata - Poster Presentation
- Primates are social animals; they live in groups composed of mothers, their offspring, and a variable numbers of males. Mother-infant interaction is one of the earliest forms of primate bonding and communication. After a certain period of attachment, the infants begin to become more independent from their mothers, finally reaching adulthood. Capuchin monkeys (Cebus imitator) have a relatively slow life history compared to howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata). C. imitatorinfants begin to first explore away from their mothers at 3 to 6 months of age and are adults at about 47 to 60 months of age. In comparison, A. palliata infants begin to explore in the first week or two of life, becoming entirely independent at about 30 to 36 months of age. As these data indicate, C. imitator infants are dependent on their mothers longer than A. palliata infants. Whether these patterns of independence are found in the primates of La Selva Research station remains unknown. The aim of the present study is to compare the amount of time that infant C. imitator and A. palliata spend near versus far from their mother as a measure of their dependence. I hypothesize that C. imitator infants will spend more time in close proximity to their mother compared to A. palliata infants. This research will be conducted in May 2022 at La Selva Research Station, located in northeastern Costa Rica. The station offers 3,953 acres of tropical forest and it is home to three species of primates: Alouatta palliata, Ateles geoffroyi, and C. imitator. Cebus imitator is a small animal, weighing 1.4 to 4 kg. They are black on the body, tail, and limbs and are white on the chest, shoulders, and face. The birth season is from February to July with the mean peak in birth activity in May. Alouatta palliata are sexually dimorphic with males weighing 4.5 to 9.8 kg and females weighing 3.1 to 7.6 kg. Infants are born a gray color but then become black. Data will be collected using 10-minute continuous focal sampling of mothers and infants. I will record proximity between mothers and infants. Proximity will be recorded as “in contact” (0 m), “near” (0±1 m), “far” (greater than 1 m). Also, I will record feeding, travel, grooming, and resting. The proximities of the two species will be compared with each other as well as with data from other research sites.
- Primates, monkeys, Animal behavior, Animals, biological concepts, Tropical forests
- Local Identifiers