Abstract # 127:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2007 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 14 (South Main Hall) Poster Presentation


Temporal Correlates of Stereotypy in Garnett's Bushbaby

D. B. Hanbury, S. L. Watson and C. R. Broach
University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Psychology, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, USA
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     Behavioral stereotypy is a common problem in primate facilities. Stereotypy has been extensively studied in anthropoids, but is less well characterized in prosimians. We examined whether time of day, sex, or age was related to the occurrence of behavioral stereotypies in Garnett’s bushbaby (Otolemur garnettii). Eight bushbabies at the University of Southern Mississippi were observed for twenty days while being maintained on 12:12 reverse lighting. Time of day was divided into four three-hour intervals and animals were recorded for five 15-minute blocks per interval. Stereotypy was measured with instantaneous sampling (3s intervals) and analyzed as occurrences/hour. Stereotypy was defined as repetitive side-to-side shifting, body-weaving, or pacing. Age was categorized as young (<1-10 years) and old (11-20 years). Average rate of stereotypy was highest during interval 1, steadily declining through interval 4. A significant main effect [a=0.05] was found for time [F(3,15)=3.45, p=0.044] (repeated measures ANOVA), with significantly more stereotypy occurring during T1 than T2, T3, or T4. There were no effects of sex or age. Bushbabies engaged in greatest levels of stereotypy shortly after the onset of their active period. In this species, onset of the active period coincides with peak circadian cortisol secretion. The finding that high levels of stereotypy are observed during this period is consistent with the hypothesis that stereotypy is related to high levels of arousal and may serve a self-soothing function.