The principal social connection among primates is that between mother and infant; the survival of an infant primate relies heavily on the level of maternal care provided. Until about three months of age, an infant Alouatta palliata (Mantled Howler Monkey) will spend most of their time with their mother. Alouatta seniculus have been observed behaving positively towards their infants, grooming, and protecting them; however, mothers have also exhibited agonistic behaviors such as pushing their infants away. Limited research has been conducted on the behaviors of A. palliata mothers and their young at La Selva Research Station. I predict that the interactions between mothers and their offspring at La Selva Research Station will be primarily affiliative. Research will be carried out at La Selva Research Station in May 2022. La Selva Research Station is a private reserve located in the northern region of Costa Rica. It spans over 1,600 hectares of rainforest and is home to three species of primates, one of which is A. palliata. A. palliata are primarily black with gold fringing on the sides, and they average 6 kg for males or 4.8 kg for females. I will be collecting data by performing instantaneous scans of mother primates and their babies, at 20-second intervals. In that time, I will be recording whether interactions between mothers and their young are affiliative, aggressive, or solitary. The frequency of affiliative and aggressive interactions between mothers and infants will be compared.
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