Abstract # 162:

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

Proximities to Specific Adult Males by Adult Female Howling Monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in Costa Rica

E. Zucker1 and M. Clarke2
1Loyola University, Department of Psychology, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA, 2Tulane National Primate Research Center
     We re-tabulated our data for adult female howlers’ proximities to adult males, living in one group at La Pacifica, Costa Rica, to determine if females exhibited social preferences (assessed by proximity) to specific males over time. Subjects were 8 females in July-August 1988 (270.8 hours of focal animal data; 4 adult males present) and 7 females in July-August 1992 (300.7 hours of focal animal data; 3 adult males present). Four females and two males were in both samples. In each sample, several females (3 in 1988; 4 in 1992) spent more time near (<1 m) the alpha male than other males, but overall, female proximity to males was not related to female rank, infant presence/absence, or male rank. In 1988, there was significantly more proximity by females to the top- and third-ranking males (30% and 46%, respectively) than expected by chance [c2, a=0.01], while in 1992, time in proximity was evenly distributed across the three males [c2, a=0.05]. While individual females exhibited preferences for different males, preferences changed over time. As howler groups consist of unrelated adults, due to juvenile emigration and subsequent immigration patterns, this flexibility in social preferences can be interpreted as reflecting immediate adjustments to changing social situations, such as births, deaths, and immigrations, rather than reflecting long-term histories or being predictive of future social relationships.