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.
In 1916, the Salt Lake City newspaper, The Telegram, began imploring its readers for donations to buy an elephant (Princess Alice) for the growing Liberty Park Zoo. Later that year, Princess Alice and her trainer Dutch Shider, made Salt Lake City their home and were popular subjects for advertisement in The Telegram. Other newspapers at the time voiced their opposition to the purchase, calling her a second-hand elephant, and circus reject. This project explores how a newspaper fighting for more readers purchased this elephant for the sole purpose of making money, and when she had served her purpose, she was forgotten about and ultimately discarded. Princess Alice was known as the only breeding elephant in the United States and lived in Salt Lake City for 60 years after being purchased from the owner (H. Tammen) of the Sells-Floto circus. She was notoriously known for her stubborn attitude, many escape attempts, and the birth of her third calf, Prince Utah. Princess Alice was housed at both the Liberty Park Zoo and later at the Hogle Zoo, neither of which had the funds or facilities to properly house the animals, resulting in horrible living conditions. Princess Alice's life tells the story of how businessmen, a growing zoo, a struggling newspaper, and a circus mogul took advantage of a cultural fascination with elephants to line their pockets and grow their other business ventures while providing an early example of sensationalized news. This is a video of the presentation, "Second-hand Elephant" given at the 2022 Undergraduate Projects & Research Conference at Salt Lake Community College. The presenters: Jenna Thompson & Ted Moore. The video can be accessed via YouTube here: https://youtu.be/xl2n9ikM-Fk
Rivers create natural variation within landscapes, leading to diverse habitat preferences among primate species. Understanding the habitat preferences of primates can be useful in assessing their overall ecological significance and informing future conservation efforts. The confluence of the Sarapiqui and Puerto Viejo Rivers forms a natural boundary at La Selva Research Station. This area is differentially occupied by primate species like Alouatta palliata (mantled howler monkey), Cebus imitator (white-faced capuchin), and Ateles geoffroyi (Geoffroy's spider monkey). Previous studies on C. imitator have supported a strong preference for secondary forest habitats over riparian habitats due to their lower canopy, as well as the presence of human-planted invasive fruit trees. For this study, I will be investigating the habitat preferences of C. imitatorin relation to the Sarapiqui and Puerto Viejo Rivers, to see if the results are approximate to those of other studies done in northeastern Costa Rica. I hypothesize that there will be a negative correlation between spatial proximity to rivers and C. imitator population density, consistent with the results of prior studies. C. imitator is a monkey of Central and South America, endemic to Honduras through northwestern Ecuador. They are black and white in color, express moderate sexual dimorphism, and weigh from 15 to 40 kg, depending on sex. They are predominantly arboreal, forming multi-male/multi-female groups of up to 24, and have a highly varied omnivorous diet. To test my hypothesis, I will do a census on C. imitator by walking all the trails at La Selva Research Station at a pace of 1 km per hour. I will record the number of individuals and their location by trail name and nearst meter marker. The group's proximity to rivers will be calculated using La Selva Research Station's trail maps, and I will compare the number of sightings near and far from rivers with the results of other research sites.
Since Darwin, biologists have recognized that social animals in nature must balance the need to find food and mates, often competing for both, with the necessity to avoid capture by a predator. Unlike the chronic problem of failing to obtain food and mate, one failure to avoid a predator is catastrophic to future lifetime fitness. We should, therefore, expect that the minute-to-minute behavior of a wild animal reflects these competing selection pressures. Predator avoidance in primates includes freezing, fleeing, vigilance, and alarm calls. Predation on arboreal primates has been described anecdotally in several species. There is little research specifically on predator avoidance in Alouatta palliata, the mantled howler monkey, in Costa Rica. This research will study whether they have predator avoidance behaviors. I hypothesize that A. palliata in La Selva Research Station will exhibit predator avoidance in response to aerial predators. Research will be conducted on a protected reserve with 1,536 hectares of both primary and secondary forest at La Selva Research Station located in Heredia Providence, Costa Rica in May 2022. A. palliata are black, long, and stocky, with brown or yellow saddles on their sides, and can grow to be 22 to 36 inches long and weigh 11 to 15 pounds. A. palliata's predators are harpy eagles (Harpia harpyja) crested eagles (Morpheus guianensis), black hawk eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), jaguar (Panthera onca ocelot), ocelot (Felix pardalis), tayra (Eira barbara), boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), and anaconda (Eunectes marinus). Methods for study will include a 10-minute continuous-focal sampling followed by an instantaneous scan sample. I will record ecological variables such as resting and sleeping site height and the presence of vines at resting and sleeping sites, as well as the number of subjects and their sex, the presence or absence of predators, and behaviors such as vocalization, freezing, vigilance, fleeing, feeding, and resting. I will compare these behaviors in the presence and absence of predators.
Interactions between species are thought to be one of the largest factors of natural selection. Prior research has shown that primate species are constantly interacting, and that these interactions are not always peaceful or playful. Studies from La Suerte Biological Station have shown that howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) and spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) displace each other in order to get to the food resources. Other times, the two species are seen playing with each other. Alouatta palliata appear to be tolerant of other resident males but aggressive towards nonresident males. Ateles geoffroyi have been known to use fission-fusion dynamics which decrease competition and aggression. Whether these patterns of interactions are also found at La Selva Research Station is unknown. This study will examine the interactions within species and between species of Alouatta palliata and Ateles geoffroyi. I predict that interactions within Alouatta palliata groups will be more affiliative compared to interactions with Ateles geoffroyi groups. This research will take place at La Selva Research Station in May 2022. La Selva Research Station is located in the lowlands of the Caribbean in Costa Rica and is surrounded by the Sarapiqui and Puerto Viejo Rivers totaling about 103.89 km. Due to the high amount of rainfall, La Selva Research Station is covered with tropical pre-montane wet forest, which is more commonly known as rainforest. La Selva Research Station is home to Alouatta palliata, Ateles geoffroyi, and Cebus imitator. La Selva Research Station also has an expansive number of trails totaling in 50 km. Alouatta palliata are recognized by dark brown/black coloring with a lighter color along their sides and back. Males average about 9.8 kg while females average 5 kg. Ateles geoffroyi have dark hair with lighter coloring on their chest and stomach. Males and females both average between 6 and 9 kg. For my data collection I will be using instantaneous scan sampling with an interval of 30 seconds. I will alternate between Alouatta palliata and Ateles geoffroyi each day. For each scan I will record whether behaviors are solitary, affiliative, or aggressive, and for social behaviors I will record the partner. I will compare the amount of affiliation and aggression within groups and between groups.
Adults and infants have different dietary intake needs, from how much they eat to the different types of foods they eat. Infants and juveniles need more food (energy) than adults because they are growing. While infants and juveniles need more energy, they are also less proficient at foraging than adults. This, coupled with their higher energy needs, suggests that infants and juveniles will need to spend more time foraging. Prior research on Alouatta caraya reported that as they become older, the amount of time they feed and move decreases. Alouatta palliata also known as howler monkeys, are primarily folivores. They eat a wide variety of different plant species and parts, including, leaves, berries, fruits, seeds, nuts, and flowers. A. palliata infants suckle for 6 months to 1 year on average and then begin to transition to solid foods. It is unknown whether this pattern of infants and juveniles spending more time feeding is true for A. palliata at La Selva Research Station. I predict that A. palliatainfants will spend more time eating than adults. This research will be conducted at La Selva Research Station from May to June of 2022. La Selva Research Station is in Costa Rica, and it is 1,600 hectares of well-preserved old-growth and recovering wet lowland tropical forest. The primary forest takes up 53% of the forest, and the rest is in various types of secondary forest and abandoned land. A. palliata are stoutly built bearded monkeys with a hunched appearance and thickly furred prehensile tails that are naked on the underside of the tip to afford a better grip. The hair is long and thick and is typically black, brown, or red. Data will be collected using 30-second instantaneous scan sampling. I will record the age (infant and adult) and feeding, travel, and rest. I will compare the proportion of feeding scans between infants and adults.
Maternal behavior in primates has shown that they take care of their infants to help them develop. When infants play and socialize with each other, they are developing behaviors and social skills. A study on Alouatta palliata in Honduras found that females with infants were spending more time with other mothers than with any other member of their group. We don't know if this is true at La Selva. Who do female A. palliata spend the most time with? I predict that female A. palliata with infants will spend more time with other female A. palliata with infants than with female A. palliata who do not have an infant. This study will take place at La Selva Research Station. Located at the confluence of the Puerto Viejo and Sarapiqui Rivers, La Selva Research Station can be found in the province of Heredia, Costa Rica. La Selva is 1500 hectares of protected primary and secondary rainforest. The average rainfall is 4000 mm per year with average temperatures of 25 degree C to 27 degree C. One of the species of monkeys found here is A. palliata. These monkeys are black with a long gold fringe on their sides. Males weigh 4.5 to 9 kg and females 3.5 to 7.3 kg. For my data collection, I am going to do 10-second instantaneous focal sampling and record mothers' proximity to their nearest neighbor and who that neighbor is. I will compare proximities of mothers with and without infants.
Atta colombica, a species of leafcutter ants, forages from the same leaves that the mantled howler monkeys Alouatta palliataeat. Alouatta palliata and Atta colombica have no recorded interactions that would indicate hostility, and they show no inclination to interact either. Alouatta palliata will eat the leaves of these trees and lead a sedentary lifestyle, howling early in the morning and eating throughout the day, while the ants forage for leaves during the day constantly to bring back to their nest to use for growing fungus they use to feed their colony. This fungus may be very notorious but is only grown in colonies. Do howler monkeys and leafcutter ants have any interactions? Do Alouatta palliata possible eat the ants or do they avoid them if they can? I hypothesize Aloutta palliata will eat Atta colombica to supplement their diet. This research will take place at La Selva Research Station, which is in Costa Rica along the equator. It is a tropical rainforest home to many insect species, species of primate, and species of plant. My research will be focused on the mantled howler monkey, Alouatta palliata. Alouatta palliata are black in color, with the males having a longer beard and a white scrotum weighing in at 6 to 7 kg, and females at 4 to 5 kg. Atta colombica are a maroon color, with the queens being over 29 mm in length. Data will be collected using 30-second instantaneous scan sampling; Alouatta palliata's resting, traveling, vocalization, eating habits, and feeding will be recorded. I will also record the presence of any Atta colombica.
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.
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.