Abstract # 2589 Event # 12:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 09:15 AM-09:25 AM: Session 2 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


BEHAVIORAL CONTRASTS BETWEEN CHINESE-ORIGIN AND INDIAN-ORIGIN RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) IN A CAGED LABORATORY SETTING

K. C. Baker1, R. U. Bellanca2, M. A. Bloomsmith3, K. Coleman4, C. M. Crockett2, A. Maier4, B. McCowan5 and J. E. Perlman3
1Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA, 2Washington National Primate Research Center, 3Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 4Oregon National Primate Research Center, 5California National Primate Research Center
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Captive Chinese-origin rhesus macaques (CMs) are commonly considered more difficult to manage and more aggressive than Indian-origin rhesus macaques (IMs). Across five National Primate Research Centers, records pertaining to 829 CMs and 4,295 IMs were used for intra-facility comparisons of the two strains with respect to abnormal behavior (five centers) and temperament (two centers). While at two facilities prevalence of abnormal behavior did not differ significantly between strains, levels were lower among CMs than IMs at one center [Χ2(1)=5.88, p<0.05] and higher among CMs than IMs at the others [Χ2=13.81, p<0.0001 and Χ2=5.13, p<0.05]. Results of brief temperament testing were broadly consistent and suggest that the reputation of CMs as more aggressive and overreactive toward humans may not be consistently manifested. The strains did not differ in the proportion of individuals that reacted aggressively to humans [Χ2=0.00, p<0.95]. Furthermore, CMs were more timid than IMs in the presence of a human observer. CMs were more reluctant than IMs to take a food treat [Χ2=9.71, p<0.005] and were less likely to inspect novel items in the presence of a human [Χ2=48.36, p<0.0001]. Differences in data collection instruments across centers prevented data pooling, but intra-facility comparisons may illuminate the degree to which behavioral contrasts between CMs and IMs can be generalized across facilities and used to predict behavior in the captive environment.