Abstract # 2689 Poster # 76:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 5 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


SIAMANG (SYMPHALANGUS SYNDACTYLUS) SOCIAL DYNAMICS AT THE EL PASO ZOO BEFORE AND AFTER THE BIRTH OF A BABY GIBBON

F. G. McCrossin
Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces, NM 88011, USA
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Activity patterns and social interactions within a monogamous family of siamangs were measured using a combination of ad libitum and focal animal sampling before and after the birth of an infant female. Data from 84 5-minute time intervals prior to the birth in 2006, and 75 intervals when the baby was 13 months old in 2009 were compared. Results indicate that after the birth the adults no longer played, mated or performed a “second duet” with each other . The “second duet” used to take place after the couple played together, groomed or mated. These behaviors were replaced by carrying and playing with the baby, breastfeeding, and following one another. Otherwise, adults continued to food share, groom, and interact in ways they had done before. Chi-squared comparisons indicate that the females’ activity pattern shows no significant difference after the birth, but that the males’ changed [p<0.03, with 5 degrees of freedom] due to less playing and duetting. Both adult siamangs are equally strongly bonded to their baby and she is equally bonded to them as reflected by the fact that she moved toward or followed her mother [25 times] and father [30 times] with almost equal frequency. Future changes in the activities of the family are already evident, with the male increasing the duration of his play time with the infant as she grows older.