Abstract # 98:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 8 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation


SOCIAL INTERACTIONS, DOMINANCE RANK, AND FREQUENCY OF WOUNDING IN A CAPTIVE BABOON COLONY (Papio hamadryas sp.)

L. D. Cox1, E. J. Glover2 and J. K. Pecotte2
1Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA, 2Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research/Southwest National Primate Research Center
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     Aggression-related wounding is often used as the primary indicator of social incompatibility in captive animal populations and can present a significant problem in colony management. Our study examined whether a high frequency of wounding was associated with a specific behavior, group type, or dominance rank in a captive colony of baboons. Eight 30-minute continuous focal observations measuring the frequency of all social interactions were conducted on 24 adult baboons (8 to 20 years) drawn from four group types: all-male, all-female, breeder male harem, vasectomized male harem (n = 6 per group type). Focal subjects were chosen based on the frequency of traumatic wounds obtained from clinical records over the past seven years, with two individuals from each group type having low, medium and high wounding frequencies. Dominance rank (low, medium or high) was determined for each subject based on priority-of-food-access tests. Dominance rank and total social interactions were not significantly different among the three wounding groups, although a trend was noted for low trauma individuals to socially interact less overall (29%) than either medium (36%) or high trauma (36%) individuals. No significant differences were found between affiliative and agonistic behaviors and frequency of wounding. Interestingly, high trauma individuals were twice as likely to perform submissive behaviors than to receive submission when compared to low trauma individuals (?2=49.14, p?0.001). Preliminary results suggest that submissive rather than aggressive behaviors are linked to wounding at the individual level.