Abstract # 2933 Poster # 106:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 18 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


EFFECTS OF SEX AND PATCH SIZE ON FEEDING PRIORITY IN GARNETT'S BUSHBABY (OTOLEMUR GARNETTII)

K. Edens, D. Hanbury, C. E. Legg, T. Greer and S. Watson
University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive, Box 2025, Hattiesburg, MS 39402, USA
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Feeding priority is frequently used as an indicator of dominance in nonhuman primates. The current study investigated the effects of food patch size and sex on feeding priority outcomes. Six male and six female bushbabies were randomly selected from the breeding colony at the University of Southern Mississippi and were paired to form 6 mutually exclusive dyads. Each dyad was given the opportunity to forage for two hours daily for 15 consecutive days in food patches that were small, medium, or large in size. The size of the patch each day was determined on a stratified random basis such that each dyad was exposed overall to 5 instances of each size. Priority was defined as first access to the food cache. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed an interaction between patch size and sex [F(2,20)=7.86, P=0.003]. Follow up analyses indicated that females gained feeding priority in small [F(1,10)=34.48, P<0.001] and medium [F(1,10)=37.65; P<0.001] food patches, but there was no difference in priority between males and females in the large patch condition [F(1,10)=0.13; NS]. These results suggest that, in bushbabies, some dominance behaviors may be moderated by availability of resources. Whether this finding is an expression of female dominance in bushbabies or is a reflection of nutritional needs of reproductively active females is unknown.