Abstract # 197:

Scheduled for Monday, August 28, 2017 01:30 PM-01:45 PM: (National Ballroom Salon A) Oral Presentation


CAREGIVER RESPONSES TO INFANT LION TAMARIN BEGGING VOCALIZATIONS ARE INFLUENCED BY GROUP SIZE, INDIVIDUAL AGE, SEX, AND REPRODUCTIVE STATUS

S. Hankerson1,2, J. M. Siani2,3 and J. M. Dietz2,4
1University of St. Thomas, Department of Psychology, Saint Paul, MN 55105, USA, 2University of Maryland, College Park, Program in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 3U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, OR, USA, 4Save the Golden Lion Tamarin, Silver Spring, MD, USA
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     Infant begging vocalizations may increase resource allocation if caregivers attend to this behavior. In cooperatively breeding animals, begging vocalizations may not solicit care equally as the distribution of infant care differs among caregivers. We evaluated the extent to which caregiver responses to infant vocalizations varied with genetic, behavioral, morphological, reproductive and ecological conditions. The study was conducted on five groups of wild golden lion tamarins, Leontopithecus rosalia, at Poço das Antas Biological Reserve, Brazil. Once per week we presented caregivers with vocalizations recorded from infants two to nine weeks of age from natal and neighboring groups. Although we did not find a difference in caregiver response rate or intensity based on familiarity or relatedness to the infant, response rate was influenced by reproductive status, sex, condition, experience, group size and activity level. Reproductive individuals, especially males, were more likely to respond to infant calls, as were less-experienced reproductive females (Chi squares p<.0001, p<.002, and p<.0001, respectively). Reproductive females and nonreproductive males that were heavier than average for their sex and age class were also more likely to respond (Chi square p<.04 and p<.006, respectively). The diversity of non-genetic factors effecting variation in caregiver responses to infant vocalizations suggests that these responses are flexible and dynamic, shifting with changes in group composition and context and with individual reproductive status and physical condition.