Abstract # 73:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 04:15 PM-04:25 PM: Session 9 (Meeting Room 1GHI) Oral Presentation

Behavioral benefits of pair housing in adult rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) do not depend on age, previous duration of single housing, or naturalistic rearing

M. Bloomsmith1, K. C. Baker2, K. Neu1, C. Griffis1, B. Oettinger2, V. Schoof3, A. Clay1 and M. Maloney2
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Division of Animal Resources, 954 Gatewood Road, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2Division of Veterinary Medicine, Tulane National Primate Research Center, 3Department of Anthropology, Tulane University
     Previous findings demonstrate that moving singly-housed adult rhesus macaques into isosexual pairs results in numerous behavioral improvements, which are not altered by frequent separation and reunion but are not found when contact is limited by panels that permit some physical interaction. 1164 h of behavioral data were collected on 20 male and 34 female adult rhesus macaques housed singly at two National Primate Research Centers. Isosexual pairs were then maintained successively (balanced for order) in FC (full contact: sharing adjacent cages), PC (protected contact: limited access through perforated panels), and IC (intermittent contact: full contact but separated several days/week). The role of age and time spent in single housing prior to introduction were examined using multivariate analyses of covariance for repeated measures with sex as the categorical grouping factor. No effects of age [F(5,33)=1.27; NS] or time spent singly-housed [F(5,33)=1.60; NS] were detected. Ten pairs included one or more individuals reared either in a nursery or by the mother but without other social partners. A MANOVA using naturalistic vs. other rearing as a grouping variable found no influence of this factor [F(5,33)=0.05; NS] on the behavioral changes between study phases. These findings indicate that the many benefits of social housing are evident despite variation among subjects in age, duration of prior single housing, and early rearing.