Abstract # 28:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 11:10 AM-11:30 AM: Session 3 (Regency East #3) Oral Presentation

Sources of variation in milk composition in captive rhesus macaques from two study populations (Macaca mulatta)

K. Hinde1,2
1UCLA Department of Anthropology, Haines Hall 341, Box 951553, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553, USA, 2Nutrition Laboratory, Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
     Primate infants require extensive maternal investment, lactation being the most costly aspect of post-natal infant care. However the sources and magnitude of variation in one aspect of lactation; milk composition, remain poorly understood. Here I present milk composition data from two study populations of rhesus macaques, one at the Caribbean Primate Research Center Sabana Seca Field Station, Puerto Rico (n=46) and the other at the California National Primate Research Center, US (n=45). Mid-lactation milk samples were collected once from all mothers and mother and infant anthropometrics recorded. Multiple regression and t-tests were conducted using SPSS 12 with significance set at p?0.05. At both sites mothers produced species typical dilute milk, however mean protein and fat concentration were slightly higher among mothers at the California NPRC than at Sabana Seca CPRC: 2.2% vs 1.8% protein and 6.6% vs 5.4% fat. Within the Puerto Rican sample population, mothers with Balantidium coli had significantly lower fat concentration in milk than mothers without B. coli (p=0.02). At the CaNPRC, larger mothers had higher estimated milk energy transfer than smaller mothers (R=0.542, p=0.001) and had significantly heavier infants (R=0.647, p=0.001). Additionally, among multiparous mothers at the CaNPRC, calcium concentration in milk is negatively correlated with maternal age (R=0.640, p=0.001). These results, emerging from well-fed captive populations, demonstrate that small individual differences in maternal condition can influence milk composition.