Abstract # 143:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 05:00 PM-05:15 PM: Session 14 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation

Influence of female social hierarchy during introduction and assimilation of a new male in captive tufted capuchins (Cebus apella)

K. Laszlo1, K. E. Miller1,2 and S. J. Suomi1
1NICHD/NIH, LCE/NICHD , NIH Animal Center, PO Box 529, Poolesville, Maryland 20837, USA, 2Biology Department, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD 20850
     While stabilization following an introduction is vital to colony management and to understanding social structure, the process has rarely been documented in Cebus. Since capuchins are female-bonded, females, not males, are predicted to drive social stabilization by influencing when a new male attains alpha status when all other adult males were removed from the group. We predicted that: females would spend more time aggressing against the male than sub-adult and juvenile males; female rank would remain constant throughout the introduction; high ranking females would spend less time with the male in the first introduction month vs. last; and low ranking females would spend more time with the male in the first vs. last month. We collected focal data (September 2005-January 2006) on a captive group of tufted capuchins. Qualitatively, females vs. males spent more time aggressing against the male. Female ranks did not differ throughout the introduction (Wilcoxon matched-pairs, N=13, T=37.5, p=0.59). Also, qualitatively, high ranking females spent less time with the male in the first vs. last month. Low ranking females did not differ in time spent with the male in the first vs. last month (Wilcoxon matched-pairs, N=9, T=23, p=0.16). Since female bonds withstood the introduction and females (vs. males) seemed to show more aggressive attention to the male, our results seem to indicate that females have a greater role in social stabilization than do males.