Abstract # 138:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 04:30 PM-04:45 PM: Session 19 (Auditorium) Oral Presentation


USE OF DISCRETE SLEEP SITES BY FREE-RANGING SQUIRREL MONKEYS (SAIMIRI SCIUREUS) IN SABANA SECA, PUERTO RICO

J. Verdolin1, S. J. Schapiro2, R. Podolsky3 and B. P. Marriott4
1Duke University, NESCent, Durham, NC 27705, USA, 2Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michael E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, MD Anderson Center, Bastrop, TX 78602, 3Grice Marine Laboratory, Department of Biology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29412, 4Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425.
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     Substantial variation exists in the number, frequency of use, and location of sleep sites among primates. Hypotheses governing site selection encompass sleep site physical features, their location, and how the sites might facilitate social cohesion, predator or parasite avoidance, and access to food resources. Details of 101 specific sleep site events were recorded for a cohesive troop of 104 free-ranging squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) over 2 years in a 273-hectare moist limestone forest near Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico. Of 42 tree species, the troop only used two tree species: Roystonea borinquena O.F. Cook (Royal palm) and Lasiacis divaricata (L.) A.S. Hitchc. (bamboo) as sleep sites. Monkeys used the same sleep site on consecutive nights 39.2% of the time, which differed from random expectation (p<0.0001). No significant differences were found in seasonal use of the sites (p=0.594) or distance to or from the sleep sites and foraging locations seasonally (p=0.80) or in general (p=0.06). While the 10 habitat dominant tree species differed in crown volume (p= 0.001) and height (p=0.004), the selected sleep site trees did not differ from the other 8 species. However, the two sleep site tree species occurred in large clusters in the habitat. These clusters resulted in contiguous branch structures that may support a sleep site selection hypothesis based on facilitation of group cohesion and predator vigilance.