Abstract # 1904 Poster # 156:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation


ADOLESCENT RHESUS MACAQUES (Macaca mulatta) REARED WITHOUT SOCIAL CONTACT DURING INFANCY: BEHAVIOR IN SMALL SOCIAL GROUPS

N. Slisarenko and K. C. Baker
Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA
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     The appropriate social management of nonhuman primates with socially restricted rearing experience may vary from that of optimally reared primates. At the Tulane National Primate Research Center, a cohort of nursery-reared rhesus macaques, housed singly until 1.4-2.5 years of age due to past research requirements, is being followed in order to determine the social setting that best accommodates their behavioral and social competency. Ten subjects (4 males, 6 females) were observed during adolescence (3-5 years) while housed in outdoor groups numbering 3-6 individuals. These subjects were compared to a sample of 10 (3 males, 7 females) individuals, matched for age and housing, that had previously been reared by their mothers in large social groups for 5-12 months. Instantaneous sampling data (4 h/subject), collected over a 4-month period on stable social groups, were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U tests. As expected, the nursery-reared adolescents showed dramatically higher levels of abnormal behaviors than naturalistically-reared adolescents. Interestingly, the nursery-reared individuals showed ten times the level of manipulation of enrichment objects. No significant differences were observed in levels of anxiety-related or social behaviors. The similar social profiles of rhesus macaques reared in restricted social environments and those reared naturalistically are surprising given the dramatic differences in other classes of behavior. Social competence and introduction outcomes are currently being compared between rearing groups as they are integrated into larger breeding groups.