Abstract # 2821 Poster # 44:

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


A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF INFANT TRANSFERS FROM BIRTH TO THREE MONTHS IN THE TITI MONKEY (CALLICEBUS CUPREUS)

A. M. Perkeybile1, W. A. Mason2, S. P. Mendoza2 and K. L. Bales1,2
1University of California-Davis, Department of Psychology, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center
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From birth, infant Titi monkeys receive care in the form of carrying, retrievals, and eventually food sharing, often with fathers doing most of the carrying and mothers carrying only to nurse. Due to this unusual parenting strategy, the infant must transfer itself from one group member (the primary carrier) to another (the food source), even just after birth. We evaluated the nature of these infant transfers to examine any differences in care received between sexes and between surviving and non-surviving infants. Using observational data collected from birth to three months of age for 24 surviving (12 male, 12 female) and 12 deceased infants, each transaction was analyzed to determine who initiated the transaction, the target, and the target’s reaction. Surviving infants initiated significantly more affiliative transactions towards the mother in the first 14 days than did non-surviving infants [Mann-Whitney U=149.5, P=0.01]. This suggests that the mother, while not the primary caregiver, plays a large role in ensuring infant survival within the first two weeks postpartum. During postnatal days 31-60 for surviving infants, females initiated significantly more conflictual transactions toward the father than did males [Mann-Whitney U=179.00, P=0.04], suggesting sex differences around the time infants start independently exploring, a time often marked by an increase in conflictual parent-infant interactions. Support: HD053555, RR00169, and the Good Nature Institute.