Abstract # 2598 Event # 175:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 08:45 AM-08:55 AM: Session 16 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Oral Presentation


HORMONAL AND EXPERIENTIAL PREDICTORS OF INFANT SURVIVORSHIP AND MATERNAL BEHAVIOR IN A MONOGAMOUS PRIMATE (CALLICEBUS CUPREUS)

M. R. Jarcho1,2, W. A. Mason1,2, S. P. Mendoza1,2 and K. L. Bales1,2
1University of California, Davis, Psychology Department, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center
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Both experience and hormonal priming may contribute to the expression of maternal care in primates. In this study, we investigated these factors in female titi monkeys, which are monogamous primates. Estrogen conjugates (E1C) and pregnanediol (PdG) were measured by enzyme immunoassay in over 1000 urine samples from 41 pregnancies in 19 mothers. Samples were collected once per week throughout gestation and the first three months post-partum. Maternal behaviors were recorded three times per week for three months post-partum and infant weight was measured every two weeks. Both E1C in the 3rd trimester, as well as the drop in E1C from 3rd trimester levels to 1st week postpartum levels, significantly predicted infant survival [Logistic regression: 3rd trimester p=0.0543; drop from 3rd trimester to 1st week, p=0.042] with mothers of surviving infants demonstrating higher E1C in the third trimester, followed by a steeper drop in the 1st week postpartum. Pregnanediol concentrations did not differ according to infant survival during gestation, but were lower post-partum in successful pregnancies [Logistic regression; p=0.033]. Primiparous mothers, regardless of infant survival, demonstrated hormone profiles similar to multiparous mothers with non-surviving infants. Hormone concentrations were not associated with maternal behaviors during the first three months post-partum or with infant weight gain. The biparental care employed by this species may enable infant survival despite variability in maternal behavior.