Abstract # 3098 Event # 20:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:15 AM-11:30 AM: Session 5 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


CARETAKER CONTRIBUTIONS TO FORAGING BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG WILD GOLDEN LION TAMARINS (LEONTOPITHECUS ROSALIA) IN THE UNIAO RESERVE, RJ, BRAZIL

L. M. Brenskelle and L. Rapaport
Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University, 132 Long Hall, Clemson, SC 29632, USA
line
     Parents in cooperative breeding species depend on older siblings and non-breeding group members to contribute to care of offspring. The amount of care provided is dependent on the costs and benefits, which are predicted to vary with age, sex, reproductive status, and advantages to the young. We conducted a longitudinal study of thirteen wild golden lion tamarins from 11 to 56 weeks of age from six different natal groups, in order to examine the relative contributions of helpers and parents to offspring care. We focused on foraging assistance: direct food transfer, coforaging, and calling young to hidden prey. We found that, as juveniles age, the rates of coforaging and direct food transfer decreased while the rate of adult-directed prey foraging first increased then decreased. Also, the type of contribution varied among caretakers. Linear mixed models revealed that mothers transferred prey to begging young significantly more than did other caretakers and juveniles also coforaged for prey most often with mothers but they coforaged for fruit most often with female helpers. Although older brothers and sisters were equally generous in terms of number of transferred prey items, older brothers gave larger items. Mothers most often directed juveniles to productive foraging sites, and female helpers never did. Thus, caretakers appear to coordinate foraging assistance, with mothers taking a more active role while other members are tolerant of cofeeding.