The Globe, May 22, 2020, Online Edition
The Globe, April 23, 2007, Vol. 13, Issue 27.
A black and white photograph of two students in a classroom dissecting a small mammal.
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.
Taphonomy is the study of the processes that impact skeletal remains between the time of death and retrieval by forensic investigators. There are many different animals that will scavenge skeletal remains for food and minerals. By gnawing on the bones, carnivores and rodents will leave different types of indentations/marks on the bone. By studying these patterns of marks, we may be able to determine what animals were responsible, and thereby infer important information, such as if the remains were moved or left exposed. Ultimately, this helps us to reconstruct what happened to an individual's remains within forensic investigations. divorce. The implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.
The proposed research question, Is Animal Therapy Effective for Mood Disorder Recovery? will be used to provoke research and analysis into whether animal therapy truly is effective for mood disorder recovery. Studies were included where an animal was involved intentionally as therapy. Studies were also included that compared results of those with control groups, as well as pre-post one-group design. The results also showed that those waiting for a service animal and those who already had a service animal held very large variations between the two, though traditional psychotherapy interventions were statistically slightly less as effective as service animal therapy. Ultimately, the presence of animal-assisted therapy maintains benefits that can seem to slightly outweigh other psychotherapies, such as psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a call for more future studies of the relief animal therapy can have on those with mood disorders; however promising the research has been so far, it is strongly noted that more needs to be done.
Human children have the critical developmental step of socializing partially met through peer-to-peer interactions. Similarly, Ateles geoffroyi (the Central American Spider Monkey) is known to be a social primate where juvenile socialization is critically important for finding food, avoiding predators, preparing for adult life, and handling distinct everyday challenges. A. geoffroyi subadults have a long maturation period (4 to 5 years), and they are more vulnerable to starvation and predation due to their lack of efficiency in foraging and underdeveloped motor skills. The socialization of an A. geoffroyi subadult is crucial to survival, yet limited research on A. geoffroyi subadults suggests socializing interactions mainly display competition for resources and aggressive food-related behavior. There is a lack of further research available about the socialization of A. geoffroyi, other than evidence that they tend to live in social groups with fission-fusion dynamics and often communicate via vocalization. In an attempt to discover how subadult peer-to-peer influence may lead to important socialization skills later in life, I want to investigate how subadult A. geoffroyi interact and socialize with one another. I hypothesize that subadult A. geoffroyi will spend more time socializing with other subadults than with adult A. geoffroyi. This research project will be conducted at La Selva Biological Research Station, located in the north-eastern rainforest of Costa Rica, where A. geoffroyi can be observed in its natural habitat. The method of collecting data will be ten second instantaneous focal sampling. Every ten seconds, I will record individual behaviors of play, allogrooming, embracing, food sharing, aggression, vocalizing, resting, self-grooming, locomoting, eating, drinking, and foraging. These individual behaviors will then be categorized as either solitary, social interaction with an adult, social interaction with another subadult, or social interaction with another species. After data collection is complete, the gathered data will be compared with other published data.
Although closely related, primates and humans do not often interact. This lack of interaction has led to researchers facing limitations in collecting data due to an inability to detect primates before they flee or hide. Habituation is when wild animals become comfortable with human interaction and presence; this can be useful to researchers in allowing them to observe wild animals in closer proximity. Although a useful tool for researchers, habituation can lead to wild animals becoming vulnerable; poachers have easier targets and humans can introduce new diseases. Though the primates at La Selva have not been purposefully habituated, they do have constant contact with humans due to the large amounts of human interaction caused by the researchers who frequent the station. This study will be conducted in May 2022 and will research the effects of human presence on Alouatta palliata, Ateles geoffroyi, and Cebus capucinus. I predict that human presence will have little to no effect on these species. La Selva research hub is a hotspot for researchers and is home to three species of primates: Howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), and Capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). I will be doing a census, walking at a speed of 1 km/hr across the 61 km of paved and dirt trails, which are all marked every 50 m. During my census, I will be recording primate and human locations (trail name and nearest marker). Proximity to human-dense areas such as the research station and commonly used trails will be calculated using a La Selva trail map. When primates are located, the census will be paused to collect data on displaying, feeding, locomotion (including whether they are fleeing or approaching), grooming, resting, and vocalizing. A comparison between the abundance of primates found near human-dense areas and more remote areas will be made.
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.