Abstract # 111:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 12 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation


A. Poyas and T. Q. Bartlett
University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Anthropology, 6900 North Loop 1604 West, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
     Longitudinal data on infant development in nonhuman primates are widely lacking and not equally well represented across taxa. For example, within the Hylobatidae, the white-handed gibbon and siamang are well studied, while research on the early development of other gibbons is limited. In order to address this information gap we present data on the development and behavior of a white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) infant during the first year of life at the Gibbon Forest, a naturalistic exhibit at the San Antonio Zoo. Data were collected using 30-second instantaneous scan sampling during multiple (range 2-7) 30-minute observation periods each week between 0800 and 1700. Behavior was classified as locomotion, feeding or social behavior. Proximity to each parent was recorded at 5-minute intervals during each observation. In addition, specific developmental markers were recorded ad libitum. The infant remained in constant physical contact with its mother until 12 weeks of age, when locomotion and time away from the mother increased steadily. At 15 weeks the infant consumed solid food and by 16 weeks the infant was observed at > 1m away from the mother for the first time. At 18 weeks the infant brachiated with ease and by week 30 bipedalism was well developed. Results show that development of this infant is comparable to other gibbon species (e.g. H. lar, H. pileatus, H. syndactylus)