Abstract # 225:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

Early temperament ratings and lifespan social outcomes for two male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

P. O'Neill Wagner
Lab of Comparative Ethology, NICHD, NIH Animal Center, P.O. Box 334, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA
     What attributes might contribute to the social integration and long-term breeding success of young male rhesus monkeys? Two immature male rhesus monkeys were introduced as future breeders to enhance a troop’s genetic diversity. Each was rated for temperamental reactivity. Subject 1 exhibited a low reactive temperament. He was adopted and integrated into the mid-ranking matriline. Subject 2 exhibited a highly reactive temperament and bonded with the troop’s Alpha female. Both adoptive females had the same background and age. Both females were rated as moderately reactive in temperament. Life span data were compiled for subjects 1 & 2 relative to breeding success and social group integration. Subject 1 sired and nurtured numerous offspring as a highly competent social animal, attractive to breeding females until his death at 20 years. Although of higher social rank, Subject 2, failed to exhibit similar social success. From early adulthood he was observed as a loner and bully, with limited access to breeding females. He was mobbed and killed by troop females at 8 years of age. Could temperament testing be a useful tool to utilize when selecting future male breeding stock? Due to small subject size the results of this case study lack predictive value but suggest a worthwhile focus for further studies. Compiling a database of male temperament and long-term breeding success could be useful to primate colony managers.