Abstract # 7972 Poster # 48:

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


VARIATION IN MATERNAL AND NON-MATERNAL INFANT HANDLING DURATIONS IN AN AFRICAN COLOBINE (COLOBUS VELLEROSUS)

A. Gibson-King, A. Crotty, E. Potvin-Rosselet, J. Vayro, E. C. Wikberg and P. Sicotte
University of Calgary, Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
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     Infant handling is predominantly regulated by the level of maternal tolerance for others touching the infant. Thus, infant handling represents a source of maternal flexibility that may vary in response to selective pressures. We compared handling time from mothers and non-mothers, and examined which external factors may be impacting ‘total’ (maternal/non-maternal combined) handling time. From June-Oct 2016 we collected 10-minute continuous focal observations (n=1,469) on infants (n=16) from four ursine colobus (Colobus vellerosus) groups (1 unimale, 3 multimale) at the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Ghana. Infants ranged in age from newborn to 78 weeks. We knew all individual infant and handler identities. We observed 1,458 bouts of handling (1,169 maternal, 289 non-maternal). The mean ‘total’ observed handling duration per infant was 21,874.11s (range = 4562.105s-43267.840s). We investigated the effect of infant-handler dyad type (maternal/non-maternal), group type (uni-/multimale), maternal parity (prima-/multiparous) and infant sex using Linear Mixed-Effects Models in R with the nlme package and lme function. We included individual identity as a random effect. Mothers handled infants for more time than all non-mother individuals combined (beta=365.01, SE= 16.03, DF=122, p=0.00). ‘Total’ handling time did not differ significantly based on group type (beta=-26.25, SE= 45.33, DF=122, p=0.56), maternal parity (beta=41.49, SE=46.40, DF=122, p=0.37), or infant sex (beta=28.63, SE=35.73, DF=122, p=0.42). These results suggest maternal handling may buffer the amount of variation in ‘total’ handling time.