Abstract # 4650 Event # 196:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:45 AM-11:00 AM: Session 23 (San Geronimo Ballroom B) Oral Presentation


BEHAVIOR, BODY CONDITION, AND HAIR COAT QUALITY IN DIFFERENTIALLY-REARED RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

K. C. Baker and S. A. Bauer
Tulane National Primate Res. Center, 18703 Three Rivers Rd., Covington, LA 70433, USA
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     Nursery rearing of rhesus macaques may be necessitated by management or research reasons as well as for the derivation of Specific Pathogen Free breeding colonies. Toward this last aim, the Tulane National Primate Research Center maintains both a colony derived via indoor nursery rearing and a colony whose members were mother-reared in large outdoor enclosures. 454 hours of behavioral data were collected on 36 nursery-reared and 40 mother-reared subjects aged 1-9 years and housed in breeding groups. Body condition and hair coat quality were scored once each during the mating and birth seasons. Immature nursery-reared monkeys locomoted less, and both immatures and adults spent more time eating and drinking than mother-reared individuals (ANOVA; ?=0.01). A lower level of agonistic contact in nursery-reared subjects was the sole difference in social behavior detected, and only among immatures. Nursery-reared individuals showed higher levels of appetitive and self-directed abnormal behaviors. Hair-plucking was observed almost exclusively in nursery-reared individuals. Only mother-rearing was associated with seasonal changes in hair coat quality, but no relationship between hair-plucking and alopecia was detected. Body condition was not influenced by rearing despite the differences in eating and locomoting. The lack of clear correspondence between contrasts in behavior, body condition, and hair coat suggest a role of additional factors in behavioral and physiological development, perhaps relating to indoor housing during infancy and reduced exposure to pathogens.