Abstract # 7907 Poster # 12:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF OLD, FREE-RANGING RING-TAILED LEMURS AT THE DUKE LEMUR CENTER

K. M. McGuire
University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Anthropology, Campus Box 233, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0233, USA
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     There has been little emphasis on the social and behavioral strategies old primates might use to meet the challenges of senescence while maintaining social engagement, such as assuming a group role like navigator. Understanding how old primates maintain sociality can reveal how behavioral flexibility might have facilitated an increase in longevity within the order. Using focal sampling of old (N=9, 10+ years) and prime and pre-prime (N=6, <10 years) Lemur catta at the Duke Lemur Center, activity budgets, social interactions, and group traveling information were recorded and compared from May to August of 2016. No significant difference in social contact time was found between old and young females (ANOVA, F=3.8, p>.05) or between old and young males (ANOVA, F=4.5, p>.05). Therefore, older individuals seem to maintain sociality, consistent with other research on aged primates. No significant difference between leading behavior between female age groups (ANOVA, F=0.8, p>.05) was found. However, older males seem to lead group movements significantly more often than younger males (ANOVA, F=9.6, p=0.0361). This suggests that in a captive, provisioned environment older males might function as a navigator during travel. Future work with sociality in aged primates must account for differential strategies among individuals based on key factors such as rank, matriline, and sex.