Abstract # 47:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 03:50 PM-04:05 PM: (Cascade H) Oral Presentation


L. E. Gotuaco1, C. M. Brand1, C. G. Oliveira1, K. Ortiz2, T. K. Lucas3 and F. J. White1
1Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, University of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX, USA, 3Department of Psychology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA
     Primatologists use a number of behavioral measures to assess patterns of affiliation and aggression in groups of primates. These patterns can, however, vary greatly within a species with behavioral context. Lemurs, for example, are well known for the importance of context in the variation of aggression in feeding and non-feeding contexts as seen in both female dominance and female feeding priority. This study examined whether there are also variations in affiliation between feeding and non-feeding contexts. One of these measures, grooming, is widely accepted as a mechanism for social bonding, but it is not an appropriate measure for affiliation during feeding. We therefore used co-feeding as a measure of affiliation during feeding. We then used a non-parametric multivariate statistical comparison to see if the patterns of affiliation are consistent between these two contexts. We studied a group of semi-free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs on St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia and collected 188 hours of behavioral data. Observations used focal animal sampling and all occurrence sampling of social behavior. We calculated indices for grooming and co-feeding for all possible pairs of individuals. A Mantel test was used to determine the correlation between the two affiliative measures. We found a significant correlation between our measures (r = 0.7509, t = 8.635, p < 0.0001). These results demonstrate that, affiliation patterns seen in non-feeding contexts are consistent with affiliation during feeding.