Abstract # 53:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


S. P. Leland1,2,3, A. M. West1,2,3, F. Muhammad2, A. L. Cook2, W. L. Wagner3 and J. M. Erwin4,5
1BIOQUAL, Inc., Department of Primate Psychology, Rockville, MD, USA, 2BIOQUAL, Inc., Department of Primate Biology and Medicine, Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD, USA, 3BIOQUAL, Inc., Department of Primate Biology and Medicine, Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD, USA, 4Foundation for Comparative and Conservation Biology, Needmore, PA, USA, 5VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Individual differences in the temperament of nonhuman primates provide challenges regarding appropriate animal management in laboratories and other captive settings.  A commonly held belief that Chinese-origin rhesus macaques are more aggressive, and therefore more difficult to work with than Indian-origin rhesus has been challenged by recent studies.  The purpose of this study was to determine if similar results regarding temperament would be found at an AAALAC-accredited NIH contract research facility, and if so, would temperament differ significantly in Chinese-origin rhesus imported from different Chinese facilities.  Ninety-three Chinese-origin rhesus and ninety-four rhesus originating from Indian stock were assigned to one of four temperament ratings (A= aggressive, B1= intermediate aggressive, B2= intermediate submissive, C= submissive) based on interactions and reactions to conspecifics and humans.  Overall, Chinese-origin rhesus were found to be significantly more submissive than Indian-origin rhesus [z=2.435, P<0.05].  When age and sex were taken into account, young males of Chinese-origin were found to be significantly more submissive than their Indian counterparts [z=1.818, P<0.05]. Additionally, no statistically significant effect of facility of origin on temperament was found in Chinese rhesus [P≥0.05].  These results could have been influenced by many factors, including complex issues of origin, selection, and rearing conditions; but, clearly, the generalization that rhesus of Chinese origin are more aggressive than those of Indian origin was not supported.