Abstract # 118:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: (Cascade E) Oral Presentation


EVALUATING THE ROLE OF PARTNER PREFERENCE AND INTER-SEXUAL AGGRESSION IN THE MAINTENANCE OF EARLY AND LATE-STAGE SOCIALLY MONOGAMOUS PAIR BONDS.

E. S. Rothwell1,2, S. B. Carp2 and K. L. Bales1,2,3
1University of California Davis, Animal Behavior Graduate Group, One Shields Ave, Davis, California 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, 3Psychology Department
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     Selective partner preference and inter-sexual aggression are key behavioral components of social monogamy. However, their temporal stability and relative contribution to maintaining pair bonds is not well understood. We evaluated these behaviors in seventeen pairs of socially monogamous titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus). Nine pairs represented early-stage (6 mo. paired) and eight represented late-stage bonds (avg. 38 mo. paired). We tested individuals in a three-chambered partner preference test for three hours. The subject was placed in the middle chamber separated with a grated window from its pair-mate on one side and an opposite sex stranger on the other. The proportion of time the subject spent in proximity with and touching each window was recorded. A General Linear Mixed Model revealed that partner preference was apparent in both early [p < .01] and late-stage [p < .01] pairs as measured by proximity. Early-stage pairs tended to spend more time in proximity with their partner than individuals from late-stage pairs [p = .06]. Late-stage pairs spent significantly less time touching the window of their partner compared to early-stage pairs [p < .01], whereas touching the window of the stranger did not differ across pair-bond tenure. These results suggest that selective partner preference is more robust during early stages of pair-bonding, and that other behavioral components of social monogamy may be more important to long-term maintenance of pair bonds.