Abstract # 76:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


J. P. Perea-Rodriguez, A. R. Sharma and T. Garland, Jr.
University of California, Riverside, Department of Biology, Riverside, CA 92507, USA
     In principle, the presence of paternal care in a particular species (or population) of primate may be influenced by its evolutionary history, ecology, physiology, and/or behavior. To investigate what factors are associated with paternal care, we have begun a comparative study of multiple pairs of closely related paternal and non-paternal species. Data were gathered for phylogenetically independent pairs of paternal and non-paternal species to avoid any issues of statistical non-independence as a result of their phylogenetic relatedness. Special attention was paid to traits that partly describe costs of reproduction in females, because the adverse effects of such traits may be ameliorated by male care, thus potentially increasing the pairs’ inclusive fitness. To date, our analyses of average weaning age, gestation period, adult body mass, and life expectancy in captivity for 7 species pairs (total of 14 species) representing 6 families (Lorisidae, Lemuridae, Cebiidae, Pitheciidae, Hylobatidae, and Ceropithecidae) have revealed no statistically significant difference between members of paternal and non-paternal species pairs (p-values >0.05), even though these traits have been proposed to influence the presence of male parental care in other clades of mammals. It is very likely that other factors have influenced the evolution of male care in primates, and incorporating more species and additional relevant variables into these types of analyses will improve our understanding of paternal care.