Abstract # 2744 Event # 207:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 10:45 AM-10:55 AM: Session 21 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


COMPARING CYCLES BETWEEN ADOLESCENT AND ADULT FEMALE BABOONS: CAN CYCLE LENGTH ESTIMATE EARLY PREGNANCY?

T. Mueller
University of New Mexico, Department of Anthropology, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
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This present study aims to compare cycle length between captive adolescent female baboons (Papio anubis) and species averages for wild adult female baboons (various Papio species) in order to determine if longer than average cycles can be used as an estimate of early pregnancy and subsequent pregnancy loss among these females. Daily cycle information, including level of tumescence and the presence or absence of the “pregnancy sign” were collected on 61 adolescent females housed as part of a semi free-ranging breeding population at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research and Southwest National Primate Center in San Antonio, Texas. These data indicate that, on average, all adolescent cycles are of longer duration than adult cycles [n=58 females, 530 cycles, p=0.016]. Adult patterns of cycling are not established until cycles 12 and beyond. First pregnancies occur anywhere from cycle 2 to cycle 17, and follow no discernable establishment of adult cycles. Furthermore, those females that become pregnant still have cycles that are significantly longer than adult cycles at the time of conception [n=36 females, p<0.001]. Adolescent cycles remain erratic through first pregnancy, and longer than average cycles cannot be used as an estimate of early pregnancy and subsequent pregnancy loss. The best indicator of pregnancy among adolescent female baboons remains the “pregnancy sign”, making it unlikely that very early pregnancy loss could be detected observationally.