Abstract # 71:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation


Patterns of Skeletal Trauma in Seven Species of Cercopithecoid Monkeys

E. Hellmer and W. S. McGraw
Department of Anthropology, Room 244 Lord Hall, The Ohio State University, 124 W. 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
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     Although it is well known that primates frequently suffer injuries, there have been relatively few attempts to systematically relate frequencies of trauma with specific behavioral factors. In order to address this deficiency, patterns of postcranial skeletal trauma and pathologies were investigated in a non-random, male-biased sample of seven African cercopithecoid species: Colobus badius, Colobus polykomos, ProColobus verus, Cercopithecus diana, Cercopithecus campbelli, Cercopithecus peturista, and Cercocebus atys. Ninety-four specimens were collected opportunistically over a period of 14 years, in Tai Forest, Cote D’Ivoire, and Liberia by W. Scott McGraw. Specimens were examined for pre-mortem appendicular skeletal trauma and pathologies. Four of the species exhibited readily apparent traumas: C. badius, C. polykomos, P. verus, and C. atys. In this skewed sample, males appeared to exhibit a higher proportion of traumas (92.9%) than did females (7.1%). Overall, C. badius had the most traumas (10 of 54 individuals, 18.5%). The high rate of injuries in C. badius may be attributed to their propensity for saltatory leaping and preference for high forest strata. The relatively high rate of trauma in the small sample of terrestrial C. atys (2 of 10 individuals, 20%) suggests that skeletal injuries are also a function of dangers on the ground including violent, agonistic interactions. Further study should be conducted to better ascertain the behavioral components causing skeletal trauma.